Growing humility is a necessary trait of a strong believer in Jesus Christ. This fourth lesson of the Book of James series, “Strong and Humble,” will teach children how to embrace humility and incorporate it in their daily lives. Also, by identifying Jesus Christ as the ultimate example of humility, the children will understand that sacrificial service and humility are results of obeying God.
TARGET AGES: 9-12
This lesson is part of our five unit study on the book of James for Older Elementary children. Use the following links to navigate to the other sections ONE — TWO — THREE — FOUR — FIVE — COLORING PAGE
OBJECTIVE: To teach the children that humility is necessary in a strong believer’s life and give them practical ways to become increasingly humble.
MAIN IDEA: Becoming a strong and humble Christian requires deliberate submission to God, resistance toward temptation, and sacrificial service.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: James 4:1-3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 10:13, James 4:13-17
Introduction (10 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, we submit ourselves to you. Give us humble hearts so we may learn more about you and reach others for Christ. Amen.”
“STRONG AND HUMBLE” WORD SEARCH: (download here)
Say, “Today we will learn how to become stronger Christians through humility. We are going to complete a word search that introduces words relating to humility.” Allow time for the children to complete the word search and briefly explain how each word in the search relates to humility.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Ask, “What does the word ‘humble’ mean (children may use the words from the word search)? Why is being humble hard (because we sin and want to get our own way instead of making sacrifices for others).” Explain that pride is a sin and the opposite of humility. Read James 4:1-3. Using the verses, ask the class to list the outward expressions of pride (fighting, killing, being jealous, etc). Then ask them to think about the opposite, humble reactions (walking away, refusing to hurt someone, being thankful, etc). Comment, “One thing is for sure – we must accept humility into our lives if we want to become strong believers.” Tell the class about a humble person you know and the positive influence he or she has had on you because of their humility.
- Next, read James 4:7-10 to find out how to be humble. Ask, “What can we do to increase our humility (submit to God, resist the devil, come near to God, repent, grieve over our sins, etc)?” Emphasize that first submitting to God is necessary if we want to become strong and humble Christ-followers, and then we must actively resist temptation. Say, “God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and will even provide a way out(1 Corinthians 10:13)! We must ask the Lord to give us self-control so we can resist the devil and embrace humility.”
- Lastly, explain that humility requires selfless, sacrificial service (like Jesus, who even gave up his own life). Read James 4:13-17. Ask, “Were the people in these verses being humble or prideful? How do we know?” Reiterate that our goals in life must match God’s plans to truly make us strong and humble believers.
“Servant Hands, Humble Heart” Craft: (15 minutes)
To prepare, make your own craft ahead of time for the children to view as an example. During class, allow each child to choose a piece of construction paper and their desired marker(s). Say, “This craft will remind us that it takes servant hands and a humble heart to become a strong Christian.” Ask the class to turn their papers horizontally and write, “Servant Hands” at the top center of the page. Then have them write “Humble Heart” at the bottom center. Next, guide the children to draw a heart in the middle of the page. Using a paint color of your choice, imprint each child’s left hand on the left side of their paper. Then repeat with the right hand on the right side of the paper. Give each child several wet wipes to clean their hands. You may then allow the children to paint the hearts or color them with markers (being careful not to touch the wet paint on either side). Display the finished crafts throughout the classroom.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Becoming a strong and humble Christian requires submission to God, resistance of temptation, and repentance over personal sin. When we sacrificially serve like Christ, then our humility will grow and even positively affect others.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, give us the strength to sacrificially serve and have humility in our lives. Amen.”