A Hole in the Fence – Short Stories for Kids

Original Story:

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

This story sends a message to us: We don’t care how people are feeling but lash out at them willfully, and at this point, our words have hurt them. The Lord Jesus teaches us, “Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mat 11:29-30). “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (Jhn 13:35). In real life, we would like to practice Jesus’ words, but we cannot stop ourselves from getting angry. Why is that? How should we solve such a problem?

First, we need to know what the root of losing temper is. God says, “Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon instances to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up into rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status will also frequently lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their individual benefits. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways with which man expresses his dissatisfaction. These actions brim with defilement; they brim with schemes and intrigues; they brim with man’s corruption and evil; more than that, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires.” “Regardless of whether one becomes angry in the sight of others or behind their backs, everyone has a different intention and purpose. Perhaps they are building up their prestige, or maybe they are defending their own interests, maintaining their image or keeping face. Some exercise restraint in their anger, while others are more rash and flare up with rage whenever they wish without the least bit of restraint. In short, man’s anger derives from his corrupt disposition. No matter what its purpose, it is of the flesh and of nature; it has nothing to do with justice or injustice because nothing in man’s nature and substance corresponds to the truth.

God’s words have revealed why we flare up into rage. It is because of our satanic nature of arrogance. Regardless of whether we have status or not, once our status, face and benefit are hurt, we will lose our temper. For example, in our interaction with others, when their opinions are different from ours, we will easily get angry with them in order to protect our face, status. When we suffer losses to our personal interests, we also vent our anger …

Second, after we understand the root of losing the temper, we still need to seek the way to keep our temper. God says, “If you do not expose your naturalness when something happens to you, but are calm and pray, and you allow God to deal with you and you associate with God in your heart, if you are able to be quiet before God, if you accept the truth—if you have this kind of state of mind in your actions, in how you get along with people, in the doing of your duties and listening to fellowships—if you always have this kind of state of mind and if your heart is always correct before God, then it doesn’t matter how many corrupt dispositions you possess and it doesn’t matter how deeply corrupted you are. Your heart is correct, you won’t expose your naturalness when things happen to you and you won’t act relying on your own will. You will accept the things which are correct and, once you have accepted them, you will slowly assimilate them over time. At that point, you may have some conflicting emotions, or you may feel a little uncomfortable. But you have such a correct state, you accept them, then in secret you gradually pray-read, contemplate and fellowship. The things that you conflict with or that you find hard to accept will be assimilated bit by bit, over some time, you will understand and accept the truth within them and it will become your life.

God’s words have shown us the path of practice. When we meet with unfavorable people or matters and want to get angry, we need to hurry and pray before God, call out God’s name and rely on Him, He will surely help us calm our hearts. And then we reflect on ourselves that why we get angry, and seek whether what we do is in accordance with God’s heart. Gradually, our hot blood will disappear.

Therefore, if we want to solve this problem, it’s crucial to know our corrupt satanic nature. In addition, we seek the truth before God when something happens. In this way, we will be protected and guided by God, and no longer be fooled and afflicted by Satan. May God guide us to solve our corrupt disposition.


Extended reading:

4 Principles – How to Get Along With Others

How to Get Along with the Short-tempered Boss

I Understood the True Meaning of Salvation and How to Stop Sinning

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