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Doctrine in dialogue format
Penelope Potter Ss.T
"GOOD MORNING MISS POTTER!"
"Is everyone ready to begin their Sunday School lesson for today?"
"YES MISS POTTER!"
"Very good. Then we will begin. Today's lesson is about how we use words. We use words to let people know what we're thinking and what we want them to know. Can any of you tell me why else we use words? Yes Martha?"
"Sometimes I say things so my little brother won't know what I'm going to do, like if I'm going outside to play and he wants to come with me. I tell him I'm going to work outside, and he doesn't like to work so he doesn't come with me."
"And what do you call it when you tell your brother something that isn't true Martha?"
"Am I lying Miss Potter? I don't like to lie."
"Well Martha, it's not the truth, but that isn't what I mean. There's another word we use to describe using words to direct someone away from what is really true. Does anyone know what that word is?"
"My mother says it's recieving or something like that. She says that all the time when she hears the government people promise things at vote time."
"The word is deceiving Jimmy, and that is the word I'm looking for. In the Bible we're told many times that people will try and keep us from knowing the truth. Can anyone tell me what's worse than having someone deceive us?"
"Me, I think I know Miss Potter. I think when we becieve ourself and don't tell ourself the truth. Like what we talked about last Sunday."
"That's right Leonard. We like to hear things that make us feel good, and there are times we see things about ourselves we think are true, but they really aren't. It's like... Yes Suzie?"
"Do you mean like a dream Miss Potter?"
"Yes, in a way it's like a dream. A dream seems real, but it isn't real. Sometimes we have dreams about how we are, when we're really not that way at all. Yes Teddy?"
"Sometimes I think I'm a big giant when I stand by my little doggy. But then when I stand next to my mother I feel like a little kid. I can't tell if I'm really big or little. What do you think Miss Potter? Am I big or little?"
"You're neither big, nor are you little Teddy. You are what you are, and you just seem different depending on what you compare yourself with. And this is exactly what I'm working toward today. If we judge our self by someone who is very good at something, then we will feel like we are bad. If we compare our self with someone who is very bad at something that we can do, then we feel very good. Yes Mary?"
"I'm good at jump rope. I can jump faster than anybody. But then sometimes my cousin visits and she's really really good at jumping. Then I feel like I'm an old slow poke. I don't like it when she visits."
"You don't like the feeling of being slow, but are you really slow Mary?"
"I guess not Miss Potter. But I know I'm not the fastest jumper either. Just when my cousin's not around."
"And what did you learn from this Mary?"
"Well Miss Potter, I learned to not try and jump real fast just to make myself look like I'm better than everyone because I know it makes other girls feel bad because they can't jump as fast as me. I don't want them to feel bad and to not like me because I jump rope good."
"That's very good Mary. Do you remember when we learned how to look at our self and judge our self and not to judge other people? Why is it important for us to judge our self. Yes Walter?"
"If we judge us then God won't have to judge us. That's what you told us Miss Potter."
"That's right Walter. And what must we do in order to judge our self. Yes Peggy?"
"We have to look at ourself instead of look at other people's dirty clothes. Is that right Miss Potter?"
"That's right Peggy. We have to find our weak spots and judge them so God won't have to judge them. But what happens if we don't look at our self honestly and think we're telling the truth when we're really telling a lie? Billy, you have something?"
"Yes Miss Potter. I think if I pretend I'm good when I'm bad then I can't judge who I really am and be good like I'm supposed to. Is that right?"
"Yes it is Billy. But what if we really think we're good, like Mary and her jumping rope, when we're not as good as we think we are, do you think God will pretend like we're better than we are? Or do you think He will judge us for the way He said we should be? Jonathan?"
"I didn't know God was going to judge us for how we can jump rope Miss Potter. Is that in the Bible?"
"No Jonathan. I was just using jump rope for an example. But let's say we were talking about confessing our sins. Some people believe that God doesn't want us to confess our sins but to forget our sins. These people really believe in their heart that this is what God wants. But we know from reading the Bible that God does want us to search out and confess our sins. If these people really, really believe that they will be forgiven because they did what they have been taught, do you think God will make an exception and not judge them for doing something He told us not to do? Yes Walter?"
"I think so Miss Potter. Isn't that like faith kind of like? I mean, if she really believes in her heart that she's being good, I think God will think she's good."
"If Mary really believed in her heart that she was the best rope jumper in the world, would all her faith make her a faster rope jumper than her cousin? Jane, you have something for us?"
"Yes Miss Potter. I think you mean like running into a street without looking because I really believe no cars would be there. If I'm wrong, then I still would be killed if a car hit me. Did I get it right?"
"Yes you did Jane. Faith is important, but something has to go with that faith. Can anyone tell me what that something else is? Peter?"
"I think we have to look both ways before we cross the street Miss Potter. I mean, I have to really, really look at me and try to find the dirty spots, like behind the ears kinda like. If I pretend I'm clean when I'm really dirty, my momma will see the dirty place I miss and make me wash all over again. I try to just look at the places on me that are clean. But momma looks at the places that I didn't clean."
"That's very good Peter. God is like your mother. He won't let us get by with just looking at what we want to look at. God wants us to look diligently for all the dirty spots and wash them off. If we're taught that we don't have to worry about the dirty spots on us, and we believe what we're taught, and we play with God's words to make them say what causes us to feel good and not look at our dirty spots, that belief won't do us any good when it comes time to be judged, will it children?"
1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Cor 7:)
14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: (1Peter 1:)
13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Tim 3:)
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
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