- glove attached to the back of a picture of Jesus Christ
Could anybody name some bad habits? biting fingernails, swearing, smoking, eating too much, driving too fast, drinking too much alcohol, gossiping, etc.
Do you know anyone who has tried to break a bad habit and failed?
I need someone quite strong to help with with this illustration "Please see if you can break this thread" give them a length of thread to break.
"That's good, you're big and strong, you should be able to do this...."
Tie a single length of thread round the volunteers wrists, "Whenever you do something bad your conscience will make you feel bad and you will hopefully decide not to do it again. At this point it is easy to break the habit and be free of it."
The volunteer easily snaps the thread which is tying their hands together. Now tie the volunteers hands together again but this time add a couple more turns of the thread, until it is thick enough to prevent them snapping the threads.
"But you see, temptation is all around us and we will soon find that we are doing the same thing again, and we are not worried because it was so easy to 'break' the habit the first time. We have learnt to ignore our conscience that makes us feel bad about doing it, or we have found a reason why we have to keep on doing it. Soon the habit builds up layers that are too strong to break on our own."
The volunteer now tries to snap the threads and free their hands but they struggle.
"Perhaps at this point we could ask a friend to help us break free from this habit."
Ask the volunteer to call on a friend who will come up and try to snap some of the threads. But as the friend snaps a thread, keep winding the threads further and further up the volunteers arms until they can't move.
"Friends can help us a little bit and might be able to break one or two strands of the habit."
"But Habits are strong, and they creep up and up, strangling out our self will and self control until we are trapped and even our friends are powerless to help us break free from the habits."
Now make a few final winds of thread completely around the volunteers whole body, pinning their arms down.
"Now you are trapped and powerless against this habit. It has you firmly in it's grip and there is nothing that you can do in your own strength to escape it."
Now slip your hand inside the glove with the picture of Jesus on it, and pick up the scissors. The glove and the scissors should be hidden behind the picture of Jesus. The audience should see just the picture of Jesus.
*This could also be done by sticking some double sided tape of the back of your hand and once you have picked up the scissors, stick the picture to the back of your hand so that only the picture is visible to the audience.
"But the bible tells us: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:25-27
Now, keeping the picture facing the audience, cut through the threads tying the volunteers arms together, pick up the cut threads and throw them aside (perhaps into the laps of the people in the front row)
Only Jesus can take our bad habit and set us completely free. The Holy Spirit will give us the strength we need to resist the temptation next time it tries to trap us again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:16-18