To demonstrate that there can be pleasure in sin for a season, but that the reality of sin is disgusting, wrong and to be avoided.
A pair of small, dark colored youth underwear
A 2 L. bottle of dark colored pop (Pepsi, Coke, Root Beer, etc.)
Pair of scissors or a knife
Prepare in Advance:
Buy a small, dark-colored youth size pair of underwear (the dark color allows the underwear to remain undetected – you’ll see). Cut off the waistband. Now slowly ram the underwear into a 2 liter bottle of Coke, Pepsi, or some other dark colored pop. (Ahhh, now the dark colored undies make perfect sense.) I find that if I pour out a bit of pop before I begin, it gives more room to insert the undies. It’s tricky to do, and you will get some pop fizzing out, but don’t worry about that. I also find that using a pen or stick will allow me to jam things in. When the undies are in, I simply cap up the bottle and put it in the fridge. (After all, who likes to drink luke-warm pop?)
I usually do this in front of a larger crowd of teens. I will bring out the bottle of pop and ask, “Who would like a nice cold glass of Pepsi?” Usually there is a stampede of teens wanting to quench their undying thirst. I begin to pour the pop into cups (usually only half a glass because I want to share the experience with as many as possible) and hand them out. As I get about ¾ of the bottle poured out, I will pause, and go “Hmmm, that’s odd, there’s something in this bottle of pop.” Now at this point most have already drank the pop, but some are still in the process. They usually freeze, and with large eyes, look up at me.
I then pull out a knife/scissors and cut the top half of the bottle off and reach in and pull out the underwear. (I usually squeeze the remaining pop out as I do this) and begin saying lines such as:
- “Wow, dude, it’s a pair of underwear!” (At this point it’s not unusual to have teens spray/spit out the pop in their mouths.)
“I wonder how they got in there?”
“Oh, yeah, I remember. The Farmers Almanac said that you should soak your underwear in Pepsi to get the stains out. I forgot that it was this bottle I put them in. So sorry about that.”
I then proceed to talk about how sinful stuff usually looks really attractive. It’s usually packaged or promoted better than anything else around. And in the initial stages, it is quite pleasurable. Really though, let’s be honest: going out and having sex seems and feels great at the time, getting drunk might be fun for a while, the thrill of shoplifting may be great at first (insert just about any type of sin you want here), but as you dive further into that sin, you start to realize that the core of it is wrong, evil, dare-I-say, crappy. The Bible is very clear that sin feels good, but only for a set period of time. After that, the awful reality of it begins to set in, and ruin your life. Hebrews 11:25.
In the beginning this pop seemed very desirable. Nice, cold, fresh Pepsi. Who wouldn’t want it? But, most of you who drank that pop now wish that you never had. You wish that you hadn’t rushed the platform to get a glassful. Now that you’ve done it you regret it. That is so much like sin. The wise thing to do is to avoid it in the first place (Genesis 39:12 – Joseph flees the enticements of Potiphar’s wife. Come on, think about it. Wouldn’t it have felt good for a teenage Joseph to hop in the sack with Potiphar’s wife? Of course it would, right then. But it would have messed up God’s plan for his life.) instead of having the effects of sin, and the regret that it brings.
*Note: Whenever I have done this illustration, I always get the teens attention. And, years later I will have teens come up to me and remember that illustration, and isn’t that what using object lessons is all about?
By Mark Fogarty, Student Ministries Pastor, Temple Baptist Church, Nova Scotia, Canada
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.