Holes in the Fence

Nail In The Fence:

Nail in wood 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.” A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

My mother posted this on her facebook page…

It is a great analogy of what anger can do to us…and what it can do to others.


How quick we are to us our tongue

to harm a heart within it’s reach

but beneath our words is the creative power of God

used wrongly in anger

a counterfeit at best

and so eachday we are to maintain

and hold ourselves accountable to learn self-control

and bite that tongue when it tries to lash

and a stranger or a friend…

By: Starla Smith

James 3:8
but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

in our own strength we can not get ahold of ourselves…BUT

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer Lee says:

    great analogy! i’m printing this one…for me and my girls..so true!


  2. starleeta says:

    Thank you!! I really enjoyed that story myself. When I become angry…(I think of it like a rollercoaster…as I climb in temperature to the top there is a moment as you go over the top where your stomach floats…that is my pause moment ..where I stop and look at what is really going on in me)…this is when I ask myself why am I angry??…what am I trying to protect?? Sometimes it is a real need that I have to address..sometimes it is just my ego that wants to be right and my selfish pride…these tell me whether I should proceed or drop it :0)


  3. Wow: I love the Nail in the Fence story. I check myself often about my words. Especially being newly married, I find myself wanting to respond with unkind words if I’m hurt: if my husband hurts me intentionally or not. So I try to pause before I speak, ask Holy Spirit to help, or ask myself if these words going to be like Christ or edify my husband. Thank you for this post. I love your blog!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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