Shake up two bottles filled with water. One stays clean, the other goes cloudy.

Discussion point: When difficulties “shake us up,” the state of our heart is revealed.

This illustration is based on Luke 6:45. The goal is to illustrate how actions and speech flow out of the attitude of our heart.

You will need two clear bottles with lids, some dirt or sediment, and water.

  • Fill two clear bottles with water. Leave one full of clean water and put the lid on it. In the second bottle put your dirt or sand and close it. To add interest, you can draw faces on the outsides of the bottles.
  • Begin by showing your children the two bottles of water. Tell them one bottle is like a child who has God’s kindness in their heart, while the other one doesn’t. Explain that even though they look similar, when they get shaken up they will be able to tell the difference between the two.
  • Explain that when problems come up we can tell what is in someone’s heart. Difficulties might be a fight over a toy, a disagreement over who gets to choose a video, who gets the best seat or the biggest piece of cake. Use an example that is applicable in your household. Tell kids these are life’s “shake ups.”
  • Then shake the bottles of water to show that during these difficult times, what is in our heart shows. The bottle with dirt in it will become cloudy, whereas the one that is pure will still appear clear during the shaking. Talk about how someone with a kind heart will react in the different situations.

Read some of the Scripture verses to reinforce this Biblical truth. Review the discussion questions and close your time by praying and asking God for a pure heart and kind speech.

Questions for discussion
  • Can you clean your own heart?
  • Can Mom and Dad clean it for you?
  • Who can clean it?
  • Think of someone you like being around. How do they show kindness to you?
Relevant Scripture

Luke 6:45 “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Proverbs 22:11 “He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.”