This is lesson #10 in our curriculum called “God’s Good Rules” that helps children study the Ten Commandments. This study will show that telling the truth is right because it follows the truthful nature of God. Download the complete printable lesson plan below. See all the lessons and find bonus learning activities on the series page: God’s Good Rules – A Study for Children on the 10 Commandments.
“Tell the Truth” Lesson #10 in the God’s Good Rules Series
Bible Curriculum for Kids on the 10 Commandments
Main idea: Honesty protects our relationships with our neighbors.
Gather Supplies: Bible; dry erase markers or chart paper and markers; a button or coin; lying lips photo prop craft (best printed on cardstock); scissors; coloring supplies; glue sticks; scotch tape; straws or popsicle sticks. For more teaching ideas, don’t miss our Ten Commandments for Kids. We feature lessons, teaching activities, and more craft ideas.
- Exodus 20:16
- Hebrews 6:18
- John 14:6
- John 17:17
- Genesis 2:16-17
- Genesis 3:1-6
- Proverbs 12:19
- 1 Peter 3:10
Memory Verses: Psalm 119:1-2 “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”
More ideas for teaching the 10 Commandments
- See our printable 10 commandments for kids version
- Compare our single Ten Commandment Sunday School Lesson
- Compare our single Preschool Bible Lesson on the Ten Commandments
- Moses and the Law of 10 Commandments (preschool coloring page)
- PDF Worksheets on the 10 Commandments
- Commandments Preschool Booklet [pdf] and Mini Book [pdf]
- Moses Songs for Preschoolers
- Go Fish Guys sing the 10 Commandment Song
- See the 10 Commandments for Kids on Sunday School Works
- Study the background of the Ten Commandments on Wikipedia
Teacher preparation / Devotion:
Read Scripture references, Exodus 23:1-8, Ephesians 4:25, John 8:31-32
Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Lying is such an insidious problem in our society that many fail to even see absolute truth at all, or fail to see lying as a problem. White lies, lies of omission, and flattery with the intent to manipulate, are all still lies.
Take time this week to examine your own life for socially acceptable sins and ask God for help remove them from your heart and replace them with his truth.
Lesson Introduction Game: Button, Button
In this game, children will have the opportunity to practice being lie detectors. Have students sit in a circle on the floor, facing in. Choose one student to be “it.” This student stands in the circle while all other students close their eyes and hold their hands open in their laps. “It” places a button (or coin or other object small enough to conceal in a child’s hand) in the hand of one of the students. Then “it” sits in the middle of the circle and closes their eyes. Once “it” sits, count to ten. The student with the button can either pass the button to a player next to them, or hold onto the button. Each child can either choose to hold onto the button or pass it on. When you reach ten, the button must stop moving! All students must close their hands and place them in their laps. Eyes must remain closed this entire time, and only when you say may students open their eyes. Then “it” gets to try to guess who has the button. You may allow up to three guesses if your class is large enough. Play until everyone who wants a turn to be it gets one, if possible.
Children’s Bible Lesson “Tell the Truth”
Open in prayer, then say, in today’s game, you all had a chance to try to figure out who was lying; who had the button and was not saying so. It was pretty tricky business sometimes, wasn’t it? In everyday life, it can also be hard to tell when someone is lying. Lying is at the heart of today’s commandment.
We are on commandment nine today! We can read it in Exodus 20:16. Read it with me now. “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”
Now you may have been expecting this commandment to simply say, “No lying.” Instead, we read something about testifying falsely. You know what false means, right? False means not true. And to testify is something we usually do in court. Testify means to tell the truth about a certain situation.
For example, if an adult saw someone rob a bank or commit some other crime, they may have to testify in court. This means they would go to a courtroom and promise to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” about what they saw. “Testify” is a fancy word that means to tell the truth. You may testify if you see two friends fighting during recess, and tell the teacher exactly what happened when they ask you.
You wouldn’t lie to help one friend stay out of trouble, because that would be breaking this commandment. With this commandment, God wants us to tell the truth about our neighbors, about the people in our lives. Why do you think this is important? (Allow students to answer. You may record answers on the board.)
The Bible is full of verses about not lying and being truthful. Before we look at some those, I want to look at a verse that tells us a little bit about God’s character. When we have a better understanding of who God is, we will understand why truthfulness is so important to him.
Let’s have a sword drill to find this verse. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles, and hold them closed above your head. When I say go, look up Hebrews 6:18. Go! (Read, or have a student read Hebrews 6:18.)
“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”
It is impossible for God to lie. It goes against everything God is to lie. We can trust him to always be truthful, and because he is always truthful, we know we can always trust everything he says in the Bible.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” God sent his son, Jesus, to save us from our sins so we can live forever in heaven with him. The truth is, Jesus is the only way to live forever. And that is great news! Because God cannot lie, we know the only way to live a righteous life is to follow Jesus and obey him.
John 17:17 says, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” So, God only tells the truth, and his word, the Bible, is the truth. We know we can trust God and trust the Bible. Knowing God’s word helps us to be holy, set apart for serving God. In the very beginning of the Bible, there’s a story about someone who lies and cannot be trusted.
Let’s think back to when God created the whole world. He made Adam and Eve and they lived in the beautiful Garden of Eden. They only had one rule they had to follow. Genesis 2:16-17 says, “But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.’” Seems simple enough to remember, right? Listen as I read what happened next. (Genesis 3:1-6.)
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?’
2 ‘Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,’ the woman replied. 3 ‘It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘you must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’’
4 ‘You won’t die!’ the serpent replied to the woman. 5 ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.’
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”
And just like that, sin entered the world. The serpent, Satan, lied to Adam and Eve, and they broke God’s one rule for their lives. After they sinned, Adam and Eve realized they were naked, and they hid from God. They were ashamed of what they had done. They had broken the one rule, and broken trust with God. It’s a heartbreaking story.
John 8:44 tells us that Satan is the father of lies and that there is no truth in him. We have a choice. We can follow God, who only speaks the truth, or we can follow Satan, who only speaks lies. We can’t do both at the same time. James 3:11 tells us, “Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?” That means that you can’t be a liar and a truth teller at the same time. So choose to follow God and be a truth teller!
As we see with Adam and Eve, lying hurts. Do any of you in here like to be lied to? Of course not. When someone lies to us, it makes it hard for us to trust them. Sometimes lying may seem like the easy thing to do. We may think that lying will keep us out of trouble or keep others from getting hurt.
Let’s look up what Proverbs 12:19 says about lying. (Make sure all students find the verse and read it together.) “Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” Lies don’t last forever. Eventually the truth will be found out. So lying is never, ever worth it.
Now there are a couple of different ways we can lie. We can lie about doing something wrong, like saying we ate all our broccoli when really we fed it to the dog. We can also lie by exaggerating, like saying we can dunk a basketball when we really can’t. When we cheat, make excuses, sneak around to do something naughty so we don’t get caught, or leave out a part of the truth, we are lying. In all these things we make ourselves untrustworthy. When we lie, people won’t want to trust us. Lying hurts our relationships with others, because people can’t trust us when we aren’t truthful. Honesty protects our relationships with our neighbors.
1 Peter 3:10 says, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” Be truthful, and you will be happy and get along with your neighbors! It isn’t always easy, but it’s always the right thing to do.
End in prayer.
Craft: 9th Commandment Coloring Page by Many Groce
Have children write their name on the coloring page. As they color, discuss with them what they learned today. They may take the coloring pages home, or you may collect them to put together into a book to be sent home at the end of the unit.
Lying Lips Photo Prop Craft
Before class, cut out the mouths and dialog bubbles. For older students, you could roughly cut around each shape and let them trim. Have students color the mouth they choose and glue the edge of the dialog bubble to the side of the mouth. On the back, tape on a straw or popsicle stick to use as a handle.