Sunday School Chronicles: Please Forgive Me
I teach a group of fifth-graders on Sundays and we have conversations about the Bible and
faith. Each Sunday School Chronicle invites you into our classroom for a good laugh—and a
Please Forgive Me
Me: The word of the month is forgiveness. Give me your personal definition of forgiveness.
Student 1: It’s when someone does something to you and you don’t hold a grudge.
Me: Ok. How bout, tell me when someone had to forgive you.
Class: *every hand shoots up*
Student 2: This weekend my friend and I spent three hours tp-ing my street. Including my house to throw people off the trail.
Me: *we high five* YES!
Student 3: In kindergarten-
Student 3: Yes. In kindergarten, I wasn’t allowed to have sugar. So, one day they brought in the slushy machine-
Student 4: Ahh. The slushy machine.
Student 3: I paid my friend to buy me a slushy and I felt so guilty I told my mom.
Student 2: That’s how she is! She always feels guilty and can’t keep the secret.
Me: Clearly me and Student 2 don’t struggle with that. You should keep that quality. It’s golden!
Class: *continues to tell me stories for twenty minutes*
Me: I’ve got a story-
Student 2: Oh yeah! This is gonna be good! Settle in everybody!
Me: *tells story* Do you think forgiveness is important to God?
Me: The Disciples are talking to Jesus. They’re like, “Jesus, we’re supposed to only forgive seven times, right? Seven is the number of completion. So, we can throw punches on number eight.” Jesus is like, “Nah. Forgive seventy-seven”. They’re not happy. Which leads Jesus to tell a story about a king. The king decides to settle on some debts. He calls in a servant that owes him a bunch of money. He says, “Gimme my money!” The servant is freaking out because he can’t pay it. The king gets angry and says, “I’m sick of the foolishness! I’m selling you, your wife and kids to pay your debt!”
Student 1: That’s harsh!
Me: I know! The servant starts begging for forgiveness. After the king calms down, he forgives the servant. The servant is pumped and starts strutting down the street. Suddenly, he sees a fellow servant who owes him money. The servant beats up the guy and has him thrown in jail.
Class: What??? Are you serious! That’s dumb!
Me: Luckily, the other servants see this and tell the king. Of course, the king throws the unforgiving servant in jail. Is forgiveness important?
Me: Before Jesus died on the cross, He asked God to forgive us. Does God forgive us?
Class: *not sure what to say*
Me: Because we sin!
Student 2: I don’t sin.
Me: Didn’t you just toilet paper your neighborhood? Didn’t y’all just tell me twenty minutes worth of stories filled with sin? Sin is fun! If it weren’t, we wouldn’t do it
Student: The aftereffects aren’t fun.
Me: No, they’re not. This class is a safe space. It’s okay to say we sin. I’m your teacher and I sin. We cannot be afraid to call sin what it is. If Christ literally left heaven, took on a human body, allowed Himself to be beaten, murdered, dead body stored in a borrowed tomb to get up from the dead three days later and go back to heaven to forgive us of our sin, then don’t you think we need to talk about sin?
Jesus loves us so much that He asked God to forgive us of our sin. When you are tempted to not forgive someone, remember that Jesus forgives your sin every day. Forgive like Jesus.