< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Youth Service about how to treat others

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Youth Service about how to treat others

We had a dartboard set up with a construction paper target taped up over the board. We told the kids to draw a picture of someone they disliked or made them angry. Each kid taped their picture up over the target and threw 3 darts at it. When everyone was done, we removed the paper target and underneath was a picture of Jesus, with many dart holes.

We had the kids sit down and then shared:
Matthew 25:40 says, "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'"

I once read, that whenever we judge someone or complain about him or her to another person we are working for the devil, because that's his job. The Bible calls him the accuser and he accuses humans to God all the time.

So anytime we blame, criticize or complain about God's family we are doing Satan's work. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to do anything that makes Satan happy and God sad. Plus it hurts us spiritually.

When we judge someone else 3 things instantly happen:

1. We lose fellowship with God
2. We expose our own pride and insecurity
3. We set ourselves up to be judged by God

God wants us to not only get along, but also love each other. The New Testament gives more attention to unity and love then heaven and hell. It's important to God.

Paul says in Romans 12:17 "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

The Bible also says in Proverbs 19:11, "A man's wisdom gives him patience: it is to his glory to overlook an offense." It's a sacrifice to patiently absorb the anger and mistreatment of others, especially if it's unfounded, but remember, that's exactly what Christ did for us.

He tells us in Ephesians 4:2 "Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love."

People aren't always going to agree about everything. We all think differently based on our personality and circumstances, so sometimes we have to agree to disagree and show the other person we love them and want a good relationship with them inspite of some of our differences. I like what Rick Warren the author of 'The Purpose Driven Life' wrote about this: "God expects unity not uniformity and we can walk arm-in-arm without seeing eye-to-eye on every issue."

Sometimes living this way: putting others first, always giving them the benefit of the doubt, being kind to them no matter what, helping people when no one's helping you, will cost your pride and often your self-centeredness. But, maybe people will see you doing it and then they'll start doing it and we'll all live in a nicer place! But, even if they don't - our goal is to please God not the world.

We can do this if we stay focused on what matters most: learning to love each other as Christ loves us.

John and I went to Lakeview Baptist Church several weeks ago to hear Gold City, a Southern Gospel group. They were great, but the best part was they had a preacher there from Puerto Rico who gave the sermon and he was on fire! He talked about how when we become Christians, and also in order to grow as a Christian, something has to die. We have to let it go. And we have to bury it.

Or we can't become what God wants us to be.

He said anything that makes us anxious, or fearful, or angry, or worried; we need to let it go. Being judgmental of others, being unkind toward others - are things we have to let die and then bury.

Gossip is another thing to let go of. Refuse to listen to gossip. We all know it's wrong to gossip, but we shouldn't even listen to it. This makes me think about how people complain about trash magazines and movies and sensationalized newspaper headlines, but keep on reading and buying, so those kinds of things keep getting produced and printed!

When someone starts gossiping to us, we shouldn't participate. We should have courage to stand against it.

Plus you know, people who gossip to you will gossip about you. So we should just stop it! Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:20 "Fire goes out for lack of fuel and tensions disappear when gossip stops."

God wants us to love Him first, then everyone else. To do that we have to treat each other as children of God and remember that we are all made in His image.
"And whatever we do to the least of these, we do to Him."
Sometimes it's hard to do, but He is in all believers and He gives us the power:

Then we played this from You Tube on the big screen:

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