Words Matter, Children’s Message — Tod Gobledale, UK

Arising from the Book of James


Picture 1: Girl at school
Once upon a time…a new girl comes to school.

Picture 2: Map of UK with arrows from old home (Edinburgh) to new home (London); the map may be of any relevant country and towns.
She comes from far, far away. She talks differently. She dresses differently.

Picture 3: Girls jumping rope
What are they doing? [jumping rope] Who knows how to jump rope?
The new girl does not know how to jump rope which is the favourite game the children play.
And when they teach her, she is not very good at it.

Picture 4: Angry girls calling new girl names
Because she’s new and different and she doesn’t know the games and she’s not very good at them, the children call her names.  When she doesn’t know how to play the games, they call her a hurtful name that starts with an ‘S.’ [stupid]
When the new girl is not good at the games,they call her a cruel name that starts with ‘L’ [looser]. Are those nice things to say?

Pictures 5: New girl feels hurt
How do you think the new girl feels? How do you feel if other children call you names?

Picture 6: WORDS MATTER! Words matter. They are important. Once the words are said, can you put them back inside your mouth? Can you make them to not be said?

Picture 7: I love you; I hate you
Think of the difference between these two sentences:
‘I love you’.
and ‘I hate you’.
When you hear ‘I hate you,’ how do you feel?
When you hear ‘I love you,’ how do you feel?
Which feels nicer?

Picture 8: The Bible
Long ago a man named James writes in the Bible that words are powerful. He says we should be careful with our words. He says be quick to listen, be a good listener, and slow to speak. Be careful and thoughtful of our words before we say them.
My mum used to tell me, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything…at all.’

Picture 9: (Hold up picture 5 again)
What can these two girls, pointing their fingers, do to change this story? to make the new girl feel welcome? What can they do to be nice? [Say friendly and loving things]

Pray with me.
God, we are sorry for when we have used mean words to hurt people. Help us not be so quick to speak.  Help us speak nicely to people we meet. Amen.