The Easy Way Out

By Michael English

From an original idea by Andrew Tiller

Summary: When we are tempted to do wrong we often take the easy wasy out. Doing the right thing often takes a lot of effort. But doing wrong has consequences. Taking the easy way out now may make things much harder in the future. This sketch was originally performed in a family service.

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:1-11

Characters: Narrator (or service leader), Katy (a girl of about 8), Andrew (Katy's father), The Devil, Lucy (Katy's friend)

Props: We had the the Devil speak from the back of the church through the sound system so he came out as a disembodied voice. We also used an effects unit with a pitch shifter set to reduce pitch by about three quarters of an octave. This was pretty spooky. Don't increase pitch unless you want the Devil to sound like a pixie. Other props are: Portable TV, a toy which is already broken or which can be broken easily (without anyone getting upset), stuffed toy with vague resemblance to a guinea pig, toothbrush, book and last, but not least, a set of clockwork false teeth. The latter item can be purchased at joke shops - try Yellow Pages.

Setting: Katy's house

Narrator: Today we remember the time when Jesus was alone in the desert. There the devil tempted him to use his power for his own benefit; to do things the easy way and the wrong way.

Are you ever tempted to take the easy way out; to do what is wrong but easy rather than what is right but difficult? Its something everybody faces, no matter what their age. Its often a lot easier to do what is wrong than what is right. But doing wrong always has its consequences.

Lets see how Katy gets on with being tempted. We’ll see if she makes the right choice or the wrong choice. Then we can try and guess what will happen when she does what is wrong and easy rather than right and difficult.

(Andrew and Katy come to the front)

Andrew: Katy. I’ve just seen the state of your room. The floor is completely covered with books and toys. Something will get trodden on and broken if you don’t clear it up.

The Devil: You can tidy your room later. It would be better to watch Diggit on TV.

Katy: I’ll do it later Dad. After I’ve watched Diggit. (She switches on a portable TV).

Narrator: Of course there wasn’t time later. There were other jobs to do.

Andrew: Katy. You haven’t fed the guinea pig today yet have you? When we bought him you promised to look after him. It’s a wonder he’s not ill.

The Devil: One of your friends will be round in a minute. It would be much more fun to go out and play.

(Katy's friend Lucy arrives)

Katy: Hello, Lucy. Lets go out and play. I’ll feed the guinea pig later. (Katy and Lucy go off round the church).

Narrator: But again, there wasn’t time later. Before Katy knew it the day was gone and it was time for bed.

Andrew: Time for bed Katy. And make certain you brush your teeth properly.

The Devil: Don’t waste time brushing your teeth. Read your book instead.

(Andrew holds out a toothbrush. Narrator holds out a book. Eventually Katy takes the book.)

Katy: Adults say reading is good. So surely reading a book is as good as cleaning my teeth?

Narrator: After she'd finished reading, Katy went to sleep.

(Katy yawns and puts the book down and closes her eyes).

Narrator: Her room was still a mess. The guinea pig was hungry and her teeth were slowly going rotten.

Andrew: I’m Katy’s father and I was trying hard to make her do what was right. You see I know what would happen if she didn’t do what I asked her. I wanted her to do right because I knew she wouldn’t like what would happen if she didn’t. Doing wrong always has consequences that aren’t nice. They may not happen immediately, it may take years.

Nothing bad had happened to Katy that day, but I knew tomorrow could be a different.

Narrator: And it was, for Katy trod on her favourite toy and broke it when she got up the next morning.

(Holds up broken toy)

Andrew: Then she found the guinea pig had died of starvation.

(Holds up stuffed toy - this should look ever so slightly like a guinea pig)

Michael: And later in the afternoon Katy’s teeth fell out.

(Lets loose the clockwork teeth).

This script is Copyright 1999 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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