Object Lessons

Two Hats

Objects: Two Black Hats—one collapsible Opera Hat, and a Stove­pipe Hat, not collapsible.

I have some strange things to show you this morning, boys and girls—two black hats. They look very much alike, do they not,-and yet they are as different as can be as you shall see.

Now these two hats are quite like boys and girls in the Sunday school, or grown up folks in the church. They look, and are, very much alike on the outside, but are very different on the inside. They are very different, too, under various kinds of circumstances.

Hats, you know, are to be worn on heads, but if by any chance they get "sat upon," they are never quite the same afterwards. To prove it, I will sit- on this first hat. (Demonstrate. Hat greatly crushed by this treatment.) What a sad-looking hat it is now; full of wrinkles and creases! If I worked on it for a week I would never be able to straighten it out so that it would look as it did before. This hat will never be the same again. It will never get over being "sat upon."

This first hat is like some boys and girls, nice boys and girls, too, seemingly, from their outside manners—or like a very nice dignified grown-up. They come to church or Sunday school and, sad to say, someone says an unkind word to them, or perhaps someone fails to speak to them, or offends in some point. Try as one will to straighten things out for them, they are never the same again. Like the first hat, they never get over being "sat upon." The wrinkles and creases won't come out.

Let us examine the second hat. It looks just like the first one on the outside, but let us see how it will act when "sat upon." (A collapsible hat which flattens out, but by pressing a button, returns quickly to its original shape.) It does look crushed—but only for a moment. See it "snap out" of it and return to its original shape! Not a crease or wrinkle to be seen!

This hat is like the man or woman, boy or girl, who is filled with the joy and the love of the Lord. "Love suffers long and is kind. . . . Doth not behave itself unseemly. . . . Beareth all things."—1 Cor. 13:4-7. When unkind words are said to them, or they are offended in any way, they go to the Lord in prayer and talk it all over with Him. Like the second hat, they are able to "snap out" of their trouble and return to Sunday school and church as though nothing had happened. It's a wonderful thing to be like this hat. The Lord Jesus is able to make us like this,—loving and quick to forgive. Let us ask Him to make us "get over" things. We can never be of any use in the service of the Lord unless we become like this second hat. We all need to learn lessons, but after the lessons are learned, let us go on in the service of the Lord without any marks or creases.

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