Pride vs. Humility: A Bible Lesson For Children

This Children’s Bible lesson about pride and humility would serve well in Sunday School or Children’s Church. It is based on several key Bible verses about being proud and humble. Be sure to modify it for your children’s ministry setting. Please leave your feedback in the comment box below.

Objective: To define pride and humility and the effects of each.  To describe a Biblical individual who was rescued from his pride.  To develop students who display humility.  This message is geared towards 1st thru 6th graders and would be appropriate for Children’s Church or a Christian School’s chapel message.

Materials: A pair of boxing gloves, large paper on an easel or a large dry-erase board, markers, black paint, paintbrush, 1 kingly crown labeled King Neb. (A Burger King crown always works great!), Bible.

Bible Basis: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”  Philippians 2:3-5

Anticipatory Set: After prayer, put on your boxing gloves and tell the students that there is going to be a big fight today.  (You may even take it a step further and dress up completely in a boxer’s attire, to grab their attention.)  Pride is going to go up against humility to see who will win the heavyweight champion title.  Say:  Everyone’s got their bets on pride.  Pride knows he will win.  He’s got confidence.  He’s strong.  He’s been fighting in the ring like this for years.  He’s also got a mouth on him.  You should hear him destroy Humility.  In my opinion, Humility doesn’t have a chance.

Bible Lesson

Part I:  Compare and Contrast Pride and Humility

  1. Tell the students that you’re going to introduce them to each of the opponents.  Draw two large stick figures side by side.  Say:  Meet Proud Dude and Humble Dude (or Dudettes.) As you compare and contrast these guys during the lesson, write down brief captions next to the figures.
  2. As you draw the eyes on each, explain that Proud Dude only likes to look at himself.  Occasionally he sees other people, but when he does, it’s only to see their mistakes, weaknesses, and failures.  Humble Dude sees God first and then others.  He knows that people matter to God, so he treats them with dignity, worth, and respect.
  3. As you draw the mouths, explain that Proud Dude brags about himself constantly.  He’s always telling us about his good grades, his 4 soccer goals, how he is the most popular student and so very cute.  He complains about other people and talks about them behind their backs.  Humble Dude is often talking about how awesome God is.  He also is known to brag about others.  Like, “Did you see her art project?  It’s amazing!  I can’t believe that girl can draw like that.  What a gift!”  Humble Dude uses his words to encourage everyone!
  4. As you draw the ears, talk about how Proud Dude hates to be told what to do.  He doesn’t like to hear that he is wrong about anything, so he starts fights when he is corrected.  Humble Dude realizes that sometimes he makes mistakes, so he hears people out and he apologizes for sin.  (Proverbs 13:10)
  5. As you draw the hands, put a boxing glove on Proud Dude’s hand.  Tell the students that he is always causing fights because he never gets what he wants.  Read James 4:1-2.  Humble Dude should have a balloon, a flower, or any other treat in his hand.  Humble Dude honors other people above himself and is peaceable and considerate.  (Titus 3:2)  He makes people happy.
  6. As you draw the feet, say that Proud Dude often stomps his.  He demands his own way.  He thinks he deserves to be served.  In contrast, Humble Dude is always walking towards needs.  He helps people without being asked.
  7. As you draw little stick figures surrounding each of them (to represent their friends, family, pastors, teachers, etc.), ask the students whether they think that Proud Dude gets along with anyone?  What about Humble Dude?  What might God think of each of them?
  8. As the students answer, start scribbling out Proud Dude’s relationships.  You may want to even use black paint and a paintbrush to get rid of these people completely.  Tell them that Pride is a source of destruction.  It destroys everything – friendships, relationships, even yourself.  Pride ends up all alone.  In contrast, add more stick figures to Humble Dude’s group.  Humility builds relationships because people feel loved and valued.
  9. Write, “GOD” one time at the top of the paper.  What does God think?  In 1 Peter 5:5 it says that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  It also says that God detests pride.  Proud Dude is foolish.  However, in Proverbs 22:4, it says, “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.”  Humble Dude just keeps getting blessed by God over and over!
  10. So, the question is this:  Who wins the fight of life in the end?  Who would be the heavyweight champion?  Have the students give applause to declare the winner.  Will it be Proud Dude?  (No.)  Will it be Humble Dude?  (Yes!)

Part II: A King Gets Rescued

  1. Ask for one volunteer.  Crown him King Nebuchadnezzar.
  2. Briefly review King Neb’s life:   Some say you were the greatest King that Babylon ever produced.  (Have children salute.)  You had tons of people working for you – maybe 90% of the kingdom!  Bricks were stamped in your name.  You  built and restored much of Babylon.  (Have King Neb flex his muscles.)
  3. Now for the bad news King Neb:  You threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace.  Bad decision.  (Have King Neb shake his head.)  You were so proud that you ignored God and thought you were better than him.  (Have King Neb shake his fist at God.)
  4. Now for the really bad news:   Your pride causes you to go crazy.  Your kingdom is taken away.  (Take away King Neb’s crown.)  You are driven away from people.  (Have him go stand alone.)  You live with wild animals.  (Have him howl like a wolf.) You eat grass.  (Have him rub his belly and say yummy.) You grow hair like feathers and nails like claws.  (Beg King Neb not to do that.)
  5. Remind students that Pride leaves you alone, disgraced, destroyed, and humbled.
  6. Tell the students that after 7 years of living like a wild animal, King Neb decides to get rid of his pride and honor God.  (Have students applaud and invite King Neb back.) Your sanity is restored.  You look human again.  Your crown is returned.  (Place on head again.)  Your kingdom is returned and its even greater than your other kingdom.
  7. Have King Neb. get on his knees and repeat Daniel 4:37.  “Now I, King Neb, praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just .  And those who walk in pride, he is able to humble.”
  8. Thank the volunteer for helping and have the students give him a huge round of applause.

Application: Say to the students:  Now what about you?  Who would God say that you are?  Proud Dude or Dudette or Humble Dude or Dudette?  Which best describes you?  Are you like King Neb?  Does God need to humble you because you won’t give him your life?  Are you that stubborn?  That pride is not going to get you anywhere.  It will leave you alone and disgraced.

I think if we’re each honest with ourselves, we would say that we all struggle with pride in some way.  I know I do.  Will you ask forgiveness for that today?  King Neb turned to God.  Will you?  He was a great example of a proud person who repented.

Even better than King Neb’s example, though, was Christ.  He was not the King of Babylon, but he is the King of Kings.  He deserved all honor and recognition while on this earth, but he would have none of it.  He chose to serve others, rather than be served.  Let’s think about how we can be more like Him today.  As I read Philippians 2:5-11, think of how you can be less proud and more humble today.

Optional Learning Activity: Read a children’s book about pride and God’s glory, such as Fool Moon Rising. Discuss with the children how our pride distracts us and others from enjoying the Glory of God.

Closing: Read Philippians 2:5-11 and Pray