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Text Illustrations
Forgiving One Another -- the Monkey Trap


>>I used this as a children’s sermon to open the worship services<<


I’m going teach to you something this morning. I’m going to show you how to catch a monkey! Do any of you have wild monkeys running around your neighborhood? Well, in case there ever is one, this will show you how to catch it.


n Southeast Asia many years ago someone developed an ingenious method to catch monkeys alive and unharmed. The “Monkey Trap” which was developed was very simple, the hunter would take a pot with a wide bottom and narrow opening and bury the pot in the ground to where the opening of the pot was just above the ground. In the pot the hunter would place pieces of fruit or nuts. Curiosity and hunger attract the monkey. The monkey reaches down into the narrow opening of the pot to grab hold of the treat, as the monkey attempts to extract the treat from the pot, he finds that his fist full of food will not fit through the narrow opening. The monkey excited and frustrated will scream as he continues to hold on to his food. This is a sign for the hunter to walk over to the monkey and throw a net over it to capture it. The monkey sees the hunter approaching but instead of letting go of the food the monkey holds on tighter and tries harder to dislodge its arm and fist of food from the pot.


Let me show you … for our purposes today we’ll pretend I’m the monkey and we will place this apple in here!


Just like the monkey, I could release the food and free my hand from the jar. But as long as I keep a grip on this apple, I have to walk around with this vase on my hand.


Did you know that sometimes people act like monkeys? They get caught in a spiritual trap. That trap is called bitterness or grudges. Someone hurts their feelings and instead of letting go of the pain they hold on to it tightly.


This is a trap of the Devil because the grudge that we hold actually hurts us and our loved ones. God knows that we can be free if we will just unclench our fist.


The Bible says in Colossians 3:13 to “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”


That word forgive is a very specific word. It means “To be released from a debt; to send away; to let go.”


When we forgive someone for hurting our feelings we are saying “I will act like Jesus and no will longer hold you accountable for your actions. I will ‘let go’ of the pain and release you from guilt.”


So listen guys … don’t be a monkey! Let go of what you’re holding onto and watch Jesus bless you. Okay?


Let’s pray together.