Use this children’s Sunday School on the Golden Rule to teach kids to treat others how they want to be treated.
Needed: Bibles, something golden, masking tape
Intro Game: Treasure Hunt
Hide something golden in your room and tells students that you’ve hidden golden treasure. When you say, “Go!” students look for it. The first one to find it gets to re-hide it while the others close their eyes and count to 10. Play until each student has had a chance to hide the golden object.
At the end, explain that you’re lesson today is on the Golden Rule.
Ask students, What would you do if I came up to you and smacked you across the face?
You probably wouldn’t like it, would you?
Would you want to smack me back?
What if I just called you a bad name? What would you do then?
Would you want to me call me something back?
Well, what if I came up to you and told you how much I liked you? Would that be better?
What would you do or say if I told you I liked you?
When people do bad things to you, like hitting you or calling you a name, it makes you want to do bad things back to them. But when people do or say nice things to you, it makes you want to do or say nice things to them.
That’s because everyone wants to be treated nice. But you know, Jesus said that we’re supposed to be nice to everyone, even if they’re mean to us.
(Read Matthew 7:12.)
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
That means that we should treat everyone, even the mean people, the way we want to be treated.
I want us to read something else from the Bible.
(Read Luke 23:33-34.)
“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’”
When the people were hurting Jesus and killing Him on the cross, what did He do? (He prayed that God would forgive them.)
Jesus was being nice to them, even though they were killing Him!
And that’s what God and Jesus want us to do – to be nice to everyone, all the time, even if they’re doing bad things to us or being mean to us. We should always treat other people the way we want to be treated.
Game: Forward March!
Lay masking tape in lines across the floor. You’ll need as many lines as you have questions. You’ll ask a question and give students the option to answer by a raised or lowered hand. Anyone who gives the correct response moves forward one line. Have students start by standing behind the last line.
1. There is only one cookie left in the cupboard. You and your brother or sister both want it. What should you do? Raise your hand if you think you should give the cookie to your brother or sister. Keep your hands down if you think you should keep the cookie for yourself. (Tell everyone who raised their hands to move one line forward. Explain that if we would want our brother or sister to give us the cookie, we should give them the cookie first. That’s treating other people the way we want to be treated.
2. Someone cuts in front of you in line. What should you do? Raise your hand if you think you should yell at them, and keep your hands down if you think you should not yell at them. (Tell everyone who kept their hands down to move forward one line. Explain that if we wouldn’t want someone to yell at us, we shouldn’t yell at them. We can ask them nicely not to cut, and we can tell the teacher, but we shouldn’t yell at them because that is not treating other people the way we want to be treated.)
3. Someone you don’t like very much asks you to be their partner for a game at school. What should you do? Raise your hand if you think you should tell them that you will not be their partner, and keep your hands down if you think you should be their partner. (Tell everyone who kept their hands down to move forward one line. Explain that being nice to someone we don’t like is treating other people the way we would want to be treated because we would want someone to be our partner if we asked them to be.)
4. A friend gets mad at you and calls you a name. What should you do? Raise your hand if you think you should not call them a name back, and keep your hands down if you think you should call them a name. (Tell everyone who raised their hands to move forward one line. Explain that if we don’t want people to call us names, then we shouldn’t call other people names, even if they called us a name first. Not calling people names is treating others the way we would want to be treated.)
Activity: Build ‘em UP!
Have students sit in a circle. Tell them that you’re all going to practice treating people the way you want to be treated. One way we want to be treated is for people to be nice to us and tell us nice things. Pick one student in the circle and have everyone else in the circle, including yourself, say one nice thing about that student. Then, go to the next person in the circle and do the same until everyone has heard some nice things about themselves. Remind students that we all want to hear nice things about us, so we should remember to say nice things to other people.
Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to remember Your Golden Rule – to treat everyone the way we want to be treated. Help us to treat even mean people the way we want them to treat us. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.