Kyle was 16 years old and had a bad temper. One day his dad gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into their fence.
The first day Kyle hammered 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks Kyle learned to control his anger. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive nails into the fence. Kyle hammered fewer and fewer nails into the fence each day.
Finally, the day came when Kyle didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his dad about it and his dad suggested that Kyle now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
Several weeks later, Kyle was finally able to tell his dad that all the nails were gone. His dad smiled and led him to the fence. He said, “I’m very proud that you’ve learned to control your temper. Now, look at the holes the nails made in the fence. It will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.”
“It’s easier to leave angry words unspoken than to mend a heart those words have broken.”