When God looks at a person, He cares about who they are on the inside more than how they look. It seems like our world has this a little backward, judging people by their appearance. Through this lesson your class will learn that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Lesson Title: It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts (1 Samuel 16:7)
Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 16:7
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 1 hour
Learning Aim: God cares about who we are in the inside, not outward appearances.
Tell The Story
Before the Activity: You will need 2 apples. One whole and one cut in half.
During the Activity: Show the apple to the class and ask them to describe what they see. Ask: What is this? What does it look like? Once kids have described the apple ask them to think about what the purpose of an apple is. Ask: What do we use apples for? How do they taste?
Say: Right now all we can see is the outside of the apple. The apple is a nice red color and it is pretty to look at, but is it going to do us any good if all we ever do is look at it? No! Apples are fruit and they are delicious. We can look at it all we want but it’s what’s inside that really counts. Show the apple that has been cut open and let them smell it. Say: When we cut the apple open we see the yummy fruit inside. It is the same with people. When God looks at a person He doesn’t care about how they look on the outside, such as how they dress or fix their hair, He cares about the person you are on the inside. He looks at your heart. Are you kind to other people? Do you love God? That’s what God cares about.
Read the following Bible verse: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.
Say: God uses people no matter what they look like. The outside may be pretty but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. That means we should spend more time trying to be a good person than worrying about how we look. Just like an apple, the good stuff is on the inside.
Activity: Apple Craft
Before the Activity: You will need Red construction paper cut in half hamburger style and green paper cut into leaves and clear tape.
During the activity: Help each child create an apple. 1. Roll the red paper like you are making a paper chain or telescope. 2. Use tape to hold the ends of the paper together. 3. Tape the green leaf to the top of the apple.
Say: Look through the middle of this apple and remember that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. When God sees you He looks at your heart, not just how you look. Make sure that God likes what He sees.
Activity: Beautiful on the Inside
Before the Activity: Stand in a circle and give each child an apple to hold. Tip: If you don’t want to use real apples, just give each child a red beanbag or red paper crumpled up into a ball.
During the Activity: You will say things that your kids can do to show inner beauty versus outer beauty. If the action you say shows inner beauty, then the kids will throw the apple in the air once and catch it. If it is outer beauty they will stay still.
- A new Haircut. (outer beauty)
- Helping a friend draw a picture. (inner beauty)
- Reading the Bible. (inner beauty)
- Showing off your new shoes. (outer beauty)
- Not whining. (inner beauty)
- Doing your chores. (inner beauty)
- Hugging your mom. (inner beauty)
- Taking care of your pet. (inner beauty)
- Brushing your hair. (outer beauty)
- Helping your sister play a game. (inner beauty)
When you are finished say: There is nothing wrong with being beautiful on the outside. It’s good to take care of yourself and make yourself look good, but it is more important to be beautiful on the inside.
Activity: Apple Toss
Before the Activity: Use tape to draw a starting line on the ground. Set three baskets out at various differences from the starting line. Use apples (red beanbags or crumpled up red paper) as the ball.
During the Activity: Give each child an apple and have let them take turns trying to make it into each basket. Play as long as the class is interested.
Say: Today we learned that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. As each of your friends takes a turn at the apple toss cheer them on. Try to think of something kind and encouraging that you can say to them. God wants you to be a kind and loving person so let’s be kind and encouraging today!
Have apple slices for snack. Ask the class to tell you why the apples are so good. Then ask them to tell you how people are good.
Closing Prayer and Activity
Before the Activity: You will need a mirror. Have the class sit in a circle with you.
During the Activity: Say: When you look in this mirror, you are going to see someone that God loves very, very much. Let each child look in the mirror. You see someone who is beautiful on the outside. But how can we see your beauty on the outside? When you are kind and loving you show beauty on the inside. When God looks at you He sees the inside. Today we are going to pray that God would help us to be beautiful on the inside. Pray with the class and dismiss.