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TONGUE’S POWER - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:       gossip, forgiveness
SCRIPTURE:   James 3:1-5,Romans 12:19
Style:       drama/conversation: a person can destroy
.            another person’s project with a tiny match,
.            just like the tongue can destroy a person's
.            reputation with just one word.
Cast:        PERSON 1, 2
Set & Props: very big box, matches or lighter

SCRIPT:

(A big box is on stage, with the opening away
from the congregation.  PERSON 1 stands admiring
what is in the box, as if there is something
intricate inside.  PERSON 2 walks by,
then stops to observe.)

P1    Hey, have you seen my awesome project, yet?

(PERSON 2’s tone of voice has a touch of anger.)

P2    It looks very intricate.

P1    Oh, it is.  So you can see all the detail.

P2    Must have taken you a long time.

P1    It took me a terribly long time.
.     I’m quite proud of it.  This should
.     take me far in life.  Very far.
.     I most certainly have a lot of talent.

P2    So you could look at this box and
.     liken it to your reputation.

P1    What are you getting at?

P2    This box is LIKE your reputation.
.     You have put a lot of time,
.     effort and a lot of your unique ideas
.     into it.  So this box, in a way,
.     represents a bit of who you are
.     as a person.
.                                                 2
P1    Yes.  Yes, I see what you mean, now.
.     And yes, you’re right –
.     it certainly shows that I am
.     a hard worker, dedicated, imaginative –

(PERSON 1 stops cold as PERSON 2 takes out
a match/lighter and lights it.)

P1    What are you doing?

P2    In the same way, this match
.     represents bad things that we say.

P1    You’ve lost me again.

P2    It is very simple.  Let us now imagine
.     that this project represents MY reputation,
.     and this match represents YOUR words –

(PERSON 2 moves toward the box with the light.)

P1    No, don’t do it.  The whole thing
.     will just burn right up.
.     All that work – all that time –

P2    You told some people only seven
.     little words.  If I got them wrong,
.     let me know.  I was told that you said:
.     “I could never trust him/her with anything.”
.     Can you see how these seven little words
.     burned down MY reputation?

P1    Yeah... Well, I didn’t really mean them
.     to such an extent.  I said that
.     only in passing –

P2    So if I accidentally dropped this match
.     right here in passing –
.     the outcome will not be as bad
.     as if I had done that on purpose?

P1    No – the outcome would be the same.
.     It - it could even spread out
.     and the whole building
.     could catch on fire.

P2    Just so you know, your seven little words   3
.     casually said, was like you
.     burning down my project - my reputation.
.     Whether you meant them or not,
.     they were very destructive.

P1    I guess I wouldn’t blame you
.     if you burned my project down.
.     I’d rather have you burn this down
.     than my – reputation.
.     But you must know, or maybe you don’t,
.     I didn’t mean to –

(PERSON 2 puts out the fire.)

P2    I’m not sure if that was an apology or not,
.     but I forgive you.  I choose to give up
.     my desire for revenge.

(PERSON 2 walks off stage.  PERSON 1 talks
to him/herself as he/she pulls their box off stage.)

P1    (relieved)  Wow!  Having seen that,
.     I see I was REALLY wrong.
.     I certainly WOULD trust him/her!
.     I need to apologize.  I need to tell
.     all those people I was wrong - and apologize.
.     I'm such an idiot.  (stopping to look up)
.     Lord, I apologize.   I am so sorry.
.     And help me forgive myself and move on.
.     Give me courage to talk to everyone involved.
.     Thank you for the lesson in humility.
.     Oh, and help me control my tongue.
.     In fact, take complete control of my tongue.
.     Help my tongue to edify, not to tear
.     down your people and your kingdom.