Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that only our actions prove whether we’re good or bad.
Needed: Bibles, pictures of various types of people, a way to play music for Musical Chairs
Intro Game: Good or Bad?
Divide students into two teams. Then, name a variety of items and ask if the items are Good, Bad, or Both? Each team must answer unanimously and provide a reason for their answer. They get a point for each item they identify correctly. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Some examples of items include:
1. Bacteria (Both good and bad because it can help us digest food or it can make us sick, depending on what kind of bacteria it is)
2. Cancer (Bad)
3. Love (Good)
4. TV (Both, depending on what you watch)
5. Money (Both, depending on how you get it and what you spend it on)
6. Mosquitoes (Both because they bite people and carry diseases, but they’re also good food for things like frogs and birds)
7. Curse words (Bad)
8. Truth (Good)
Show students pictures of various types of people.
Make sure you’re showing a variety of types of people (men, women, long hair, short hair, different races, different cultures, different countries, different styles of dress, including “Goth”). Show each picture to your students and ask, Is this person a good person or a bad person?
(Read Matthew 11:18-19.)
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
Some people thought that John the Baptist was a bad person because he dressed in rags and ate bugs and lived in the desert and didn’t like to eat nice food with people. Jesus did like to eat and drink with people, but some people still thought He was a bad person.
But Jesus says that wisdom is proved right by her deeds, or actions. That means you can’t decide if a person is good or bad simply by looking at how they dress or what hairstyle they have or what color they are or where they’re from or anything like that.
You have to decide if they’re a good person or not by what they do. Are they doing the right things that God wants them to do, or are they doing the wrong things that God doesn’t’ want them to do?
What people do is the only thing that matters to God.
If we believe in God, will we do the right things or the wrong things? Will we do good things or bad things?
If we say we believe in God, we have to prove that by doing the right things. God and other people will know that we’re true followers of God by what we do.
Game: Musical Chair Share
Play Musical Chairs. Remove one chair. When the music stops, the person without a chair must say one good thing that they can do to show that they’re a follower of Jesus. Remove no more chairs. No one leaves the game.
Play until interest fades. When the game is over, remind students that we prove we are a follower of Jesus by what we do.
Jesus, help us to judge people not by what they look like or where they’re from. Help us to look at what they do. And help us to prove that we’re true followers of You by doing the right things. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 1.