(being a good sport, Col. 3:23)
[Uses a man puppet and a boy and girl puppet; props: a sign with Col. 3:23 on it]
(Uncle Max enters one side of the stage. Bart and Claudia enter the other.)
BART: (leaning against the side of the stage) Boy, am I tired! All that energy for a stupid softball game! What a waste!
UNCLE MAX: Hi, Bart and Claudia. How did the softball game go?
BART: (hangs head, complaining) Terrible! Our team was terrible. Our coach was terrible. I was really terrible!
UNCLE MAX: Now, Bart, it couldn’t have been all that bad. Don’t you think you’re exaggerating a little?
CLAUDIA: (cheerfully) No, Uncle Max. Bart really was terrible. He struck out three times!
BART: (stands up) It’s not my fault. Fletcher Ferguson is a bad pitcher. He always pitches them too high (stretches up high) or too low (stoops down low). And the umpire never says a thing about it. If Fletch would pitch right, I could hit them every time.
UNCLE MAX: Well I hate to say it, Bart, but it sounds to me like you’re a poor loser.
CLAUDIA: (excited, bounces around) Hey, Bart. You should be like me. I’m a real good loser. When I play a game, I always lose. I decided I’m a lot better at losing than winning, so I don’t even try to win anymore. I see how much I can lose by.
UNCLE MAX: Claudia, I hate to say so, but I don’t think you are a good loser either.
CLAUDIA: (shocked and disappointed) But I try so hard!
BART: She really does, Uncle Max. She’s a real good loser. She loses every time. I play lots of games with Claudia because I know I’ll always win.
UNCLE MAX: What games do you two play?
BART: Sometimes we play Tiddlywinks. Claudia really stinks at that game. Or sometimes we play Hungry Hippos or Operation.
UNCLE MAX: I see. Bart, let’s say you and Claudia play Hungry Hippos and you win, but you know she didn’t even try to win. How does that make you feel?
BART: (slowly) I guess I’m glad I won, but actually it’s not much fun to win when the other person doesn’t even try.
UNCLE MAX: That reminds me of a Bible verse. Colossians 3:23 says, (sign pops up) “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
CLAUDIA: What does “heartily” mean?
BART: I know. “Heartily” means with all your heart. “Heartily” was one of our spelling words last year. Heartily. (spells it, bobbing up and down with each letter) H-e-a-r-t-i-l-y.
(sign goes down)
UNCLE MAX: That’s right, Bart. A good loser does his best, but he has a good attitude even when he loses.
CLAUDIA: (skeptical, scratches head) I don’t know, Uncle Max. It’s pretty hard to feel good about losing when you’re trying to win. I can’t seem to do it.
UNCLE MAX: When I play your Aunt Millie checkers, she almost always wins. She played checkers with her dad a lot growing up and I can hardly ever beat her. But I am getting better. What do you think I can be happy about when she wins?
BART: I know. If winning makes her happy, maybe when she wins she’ll fix you something really nice for dinner.
UNCLE MAX: (chuckles) Well, I suppose that’s right. I do like making my sweetheart happy. But can you guess some other reasons why I’m thankful when I lose?
CLAUDIA: I keep trying to lose at Tiddlywinks, so I’m not getting any better at it. I couldn’t even beat my baby sister now. I guess if you give it your best and still lose, at least you improve your game.
UNCLE MAX: Right.
BART: Aunt Millie may beat you at checkers, but you always beat her at Scrabble.
UNCLE MAX: Yes. Just like Fletcher Ferguson is good at softball, but you’re a great speller.
BART: I guess I could learn to be a good loser, but I’d rather be a good winner.
CLAUDIA: Fletcher Ferguson is a good winner. When he wins he talks about it for days.
UNCLE MAX: When I think of a good winner, that’s not what comes to mind. I think of someone who is a good sport.
BART: My dad says a good sport doesn’t complain when he loses and doesn’t brag when he wins. But I don’t have to worry about bragging, because I always lose.
UNCLE MAX: When I was a kid, your Uncle Jack always used to beat me at chess. Then he would brag about it for days. It made me so mad! Finally I told him I would never play chess with him again. I didn’t either. That way he couldn’t brag about beating me…but I never did learn to play chess very well.
CLAUDIA: (hopefully) Do you think if I start really trying hard to win at Tiddly-winks, that I might beat Bart someday?
UNCLE MAX: Maybe. But I know this for sure. If you start trying hard to get better, with a good attitude, you’ll enjoy the game a lot more—and please the Lord at the same time.
CLAUDIA: You mean I can serve Jesus when I’m playing a game?
UNCLE MAX: That’s right. You can serve the Lord in lots of ways if you do it to please Him and do it with the right attitude.
BART: (excited) Cool! I’m going to practice serving the Lord right now. Hey Claudia, can you come pitch the ball to me? I’m going to work on my softball skills. And while I’m at it, I’d better work on my attitude, too.