The Source for Youth Ministry


A Lesson From Toothpaste
Control of the Tongue

Most youth ministries struggle with one thing more than any other: sins of the mouth. Be it gossip, or lies, or swear words, people get hurt when we lose control over our tongues. Here’s an idea to illustrate the twofold problem of sinning with your mouth.

Ask the group finish this statement: “Sticks and stones may break bones, but….”

Ask them if that’s really true. Most students will say that it is NOT true at all. Most students will have felt the pain of someone’s words.

Say, “There are really two problems when it comes to hurtful words. First, somebody gets hurt when we lose control of our mouths. Secondly, no matter how hard we try, or how “sincere” we may be, we CANNOT take back what was said.”

Maybe this image will help you understand what I mean. (Pull out a tube of toothpaste.) Say, “Let’s say this toothpaste tube is our mouths and the toothpaste inside is a hurtful word, or a lie, or a piece of gossip.”

Then, squeeze the tube really hard, shooting toothpaste out of the tube. Point to the toothpaste on the floor or on the table and say, “See that mess; it’s a lot like the mess we get into when we lose control of our mouths. That’s a big problem. But, there’s another really big problem: no matter how hard you try, you CANNOT put the toothpaste back in the tube. The same thing is true with our words: you cannot put them back in your mouth. Hurtful words can’t be taken back. We need to be really careful about what we say.”

James 3:1-12 is a good passage of Scripture to study in relation to this topic.

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Comments on this post

   Danielle         8/24/2015 6:26:51 PM

Love love love this idea

   johanes         8/12/2015 7:10:16 PM

Apik Tenan....(how to say: "Very Good" in javanese language)

   Xoliswa         12/12/2013 5:27:06 AM

I am grateful to have found this site. May God richly bless you.

   jacque         8/28/2013 5:58:15 PM

Great Night With 18 Teens.

   Jo-Ann Philander         10/9/2012 3:33:33 AM


   Bryan Blakely         6/13/2012 1:55:08 PM

I have been asked to take the Youth Minister position with our church and as I thought about the issues I would face, I quickly came to the issue of gossip and hurtful words that youth get caught up in so many times. This is going to be my first Bible lesson!!! Thanks

   Pastor Robert         3/22/2012 7:02:03 AM

This sounds like a kool idea.

   Derlyne         10/6/2011 8:45:10 PM

Wonderful! Thanks!

   Justin         9/14/2011 10:24:31 AM

Great interpretation.

   Derlyne         9/11/2011 8:43:13 PM

Nice! Great analogy!

   rhondeen         4/19/2011 1:18:11 PM

taming the tongue


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