Be sure each student has an empty cola can. If it’s feasible, let the girls drink the soft drinks as you discuss the lesson. Then do the following:
- Pass out 3X5 index cards to each girl. Have them write down the most insensitive or mean thing that was ever said to or about them. If you just have a few girls, have them write two or three comments each. Be sure to ask them to delete any expletives and make the comments clean, though they will be mean comments.
- Collect the cards.
- Read the comments slowly to the class.
- Pause after each comment and have the girls “do” to their cans what this comment would “do” to their hearts and emotions. (They will be twisting, crushing, stamping on and beating up those cans….Let them go!)
- After all the comments have been read, talk to the girls about penitence and forgiveness…how that others may come and ask you to forgive them and how happy we should be to do that for those who have spoken against us.
- Then ask them to try to “fix” the situation…that is, to put the cans back like they were in the beginning. (Be careful that no one is in danger of being cut by jagged edges of torn cans.)
- Then explain to the girls who are already seeing the obvious point: You can apologize and be forgiven, BUT you cannot always take away the consequences of harsh words. You can’t always put the relationships back as they were before the tongue did its damage. Be sure to talk about James 3 and its analogies about the tongue.