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Spirituality        < Previous        Next >


Conflicts and Other Moldy Gross-Outs


Today's Snack: Buy fresh, delicious cheese for today's snack, and enjoy with some apples slices, bread slices, strawberries, grapes and whatever else you'd like - foods that are natural and aren't made with preservatives. Drink water or milk to wash it down. Be sure to have an extra chunk for each student to take home to do this activity.






Clean, dry, plastic container with lid for each student,

such as a peanut-butter jar or storage container

1" chunk of cheddar cheese, small piece of bread,

apple slice, grape, lemon slice, zucchini slice, etc.

Bowl of water | masking tape or duct tape | marker



When you let disagreements with other people go on and on, it's as if your hurt and unforgiveness rot, and spoil your life. Leaving relationship problems unsolved is wrong and bad for us, the Bible says. We are not supposed to let conflicts continue. We are supposed to solve them right away.


It is so important to reconcile - make peace -- clear up misunderstandings -- apologize for hurts and arguments - accept other people's apologies, too -- that Jesus says that we should end conflicts before we even think about praying or worshipping. That's how important it is to live with others in peace and not let any hurts fester for long.


Read aloud Matthew 5:23-26. Jesus is saying that making things right with other people is an extremely important task that we need to do, to live in peace.


If we don't solve relationship problems, or try to ignore them, we are hurting ourselves and others. The Bible says that's gross!


So let's make a gross-out on purpose. Remember this, next time you get into a disagreement with someone, or someone hurts your feelings. You are not supposed to ignore it, or pretend it didn't really hurt. Instead, you are supposed to go to the other person, and solve the problem.


This activity will help you remember to solve the problem sooner, not later, so that it doesn't turn into a gross-out, like we're going to make.


Eat most of today's snack, and then dip the leftovers in water and place them into a clear, plastic container. Everybody should have at least one 1" chunk of cheese and some of the other items of food.


After you have gotten them wet, put them in your container. Screw on the lid tightly. You can seal it more tightly with masking tape or duct tape if you wish. But you should be able to still see in.


If you are doing this in a group, label your container with your name. You might want to add: DON'T EAT!!!


Lay the container on its side and gently shake the food apart so that you can see each piece well.


Look inside your container every day for a week. At first, you shouldn't notice anything much. But after a few days, do you start seeing green, blue or white fuzzy dots forming? That is MOLD.


As time goes on, the mold may spread, and take on textures such as bumpiness. You might be able to see the mold spreading from one type of food to another. You might see whitish-grayish mold, or black spots.


What is mold, anyway? It's a live plant that is a type of fungus. It doesn't have any chlorophyll, like green plants. So it has to make its own food by putting out a chemical into other foods and getting them to rot, or decompose, so that it can soak up some nutrition from it.


Nature needs mold to break organic things down into soil so that new things can grow.


But human relationships can be damaged or destroyed by the "mold" that comes from leaving disagreements and conflicts unsolved. Unresolved conflicts are like mold - gross!


Jesus was trying to teach us how important it is to live in peace with everybody, and not let hurts and problems linger for long, because it will be like letting mold grow on our hearts.


After about two weeks, the mold should stop growing, and you can throw away your container - but remember the lesson.



By Susan Darst Williams Spirituality 11 2011

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