The kids looked at this story last week as a spin on The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Hope you might enjoy it too.
The Boy Who Thought He Was Better
There were some people hanging around Jesus, who thought they were pretty good. They were pretty happy when they looked at themselves. But when they looked at some of the other people around who they didn’t think were very good, they scrunched up their faces and looked at them with disgust.
Jesus wasn’t very happy about the way the people were doing this, so he told them a story a bit like this.
There were two teenagers, a teenage boy, and a teenage girl. The teenage boy thought he was pretty good, and other people thought he was pretty good too. He always dressed nice, and didn’t seem to get in to trouble like some of the other kids his age.
People didn’t look at the teenage girl the same though. She dressed in these messy black clothes all the time. She never smiled. And she had piercings, like rings and stuff in her nose, and in her lips.
Both of these teenagers went to pray to God.
The boy, feeling pretty good about himself, prayed like this;
“Thank you God that I’m not like the other kids my age who get into trouble. I go to church every week; I pray before I eat any of my meals. I don’t swear, I don’t smoke, and I definitely don’t have any disgusting piercings like that girl over there. Ohh, thankyou that I’m not like her. Yeah, that’s what I’m glad about most of all. That I’m better than her.”
The teenage girl knew exactly how this boy and others looked at her. And she figured God must have looked at her the same way. But for some reason, she felt like praying anyway. So she prayed like this;
“I’m sorry God if I’m not what you or other people want me to be like. But this is who I am, and I don’t know how to be any different. And I don’t know if I really want to be any different. But I do want someone to love me, just as I am. Will you God? Will you be kind, and love me, and like me just the way I am?”
The girl came away with a warm feeling in her heart. It was her who went home knowing in her heart that she was accepted and loved by God.
The boy didn’t feel the same way. He tried telling himself that he was the better one, but he didn’t have a very good feeling in his heart. He went home not feeling very good.
Jesus says that those who put others down to try and make themselves feel better, will end up feeling worse than those who come to God looking for him to accept them just as they are. They are the ones who will really feel God’s love and kindness toward them.