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Object Lessons with Pencils & Pens

Object lessons use ordinary things like pencils and pens to teach wonderful Bible lessons for any age!  Have you ever thought about how a pencil can teach us that if we allow ourselves to be held in God's hand and let Him control and guide our lives, we can accomplish great things?!

Three quick lessons can be learned from a pencil:

  1. God allows sharpening which may not feel good, but is for a greater purpose.
  2. God has given us a way that our sins may be erased!
  3. The most important part of a pencil as well as a person is what's on the inside.
  4. Not all pencils or writing utensils are the same!  We have each been created to be used by God to make our unique marks for His glory!

We've connected these with Scripture for a quick object lesson which will stick with your audience and equip them to share these truths with others!

pencil story object lesson

Photo by Jonathan Borba

Object:  A pencil and a variety of other writing tools such as pens, markers, crayons, etc.


James 1:12   "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."

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."

Object Lesson:


You can either hold up a pencil as you teach this object lesson or pass out a variety of pencils (some sharpened, some not, some with erasers, some without, etc.) so that each student is holding one.

Ask everyone that has an unsharpened pencil to hold it up.  Have them try to write something on a sheet of paper. Ask how useful their pencil is unsharpened. 

Have others with sharpened pencils hold them up.  Have them use their pencils to write something on the paper. 

Ask "What made the difference?"  Talk about "sharpening".  If you were a pencil would that feel good?  Make the point that sometimes in our lives we may have things that don't "feel" good, but God can use them to make us more useful for Him.

Have students look up James 1:12   - "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."


Have students hold up their pencil if they have an eraser and tell you what the eraser can do.  Have students with a sharpened pencil write a mispelled word or a math problem that has the wrong answer.  Point out that the Bible says we all do wrong things, things that displease God; we call these sins.

An eraser on a pencil is important to erase where we have written something wrong.  In the same way, we can ask God for forgiveness through Jesus and He will "erase" our sins. 

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

Most Important Part

Ask students what the most important part of a pencil is.  Is it the wood or plastic on the outside?  No; the most important part of a pencil is what is on the inside...the lead.  Without that it could not do what it was created to do - write or make a mark!

No matter how we look or what we can or can't do, what's on the inside of us is most important - a soul filled with Jesus!

Pencils are used to make marks & so are we! No matter where God has placed us - on paper, cardboard, or plastic - He wants us to make a mark...a difference for Him!

Object Lessons on Being Different

pencil story lesson

Photo Credit: Pixbay@Pexels

Finally, we may not all be pencils; we are not all alike. Some may be more like markers making bright bold marks, or highlighters that spotlight the work and marks of others. No matter what our gifts though, Jesus wants to use us in unique and special ways for His Kingdom!


Have students thank God for how He has made them each special and unique. 

Have them think about the eraser; have they accepted God's forgiveness through Jesus?  If they are already a Christian, is there anything in their life right now they need to take to God and ask forgiveness?

Are they going through a hard time of "sharpening"?  Have them ask God to help them persevere as He works in their life.

Object Lesson Take-Away Challenge:

Encourage students that each time they use a pencil or pen to let it remind them of these lessons from a pencil and how God wants to use them in a special and unique way right where He has placed them.

The Pencil Story

story of the pencil

Photo by Lisa Fotios @Pexels

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:

"Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?"
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
"I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up."

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
"But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!"

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world."

"First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will."

"Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person."

‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice."

"Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you."

"Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action."

source: “Like the Flowing River” by Paulo Coelho

More Bible Object Lessons

More Inspirational Short Stories

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