Lesson: You Shall Not Give False Testimony

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Why does the Lord want us to tell the truth? Includes a lesson and 3 games.

Intro Game: Lie Detector

This game is similar to Two Truths and a Lie. Tell students that you’re going to tell them a story about what happened to you. Most of it will be true, but someone of it won’t be. It’s their job to call out whenever they think you’re saying something that isn’t true. The story is over when the students correctly detect a lie.

Play this game a couple times telling a different story or allowing some of the students to try telling a story.

Lesson

Ask students, Does anyone remember why God gives us rules? (God gives us rules because He loves us. The rules He gives us are meant to protect us and others.)

Alex and Alicia

Help students prepare for the lesson by giving advice to two fictitious students. You’ll tell them a short story. Then, they’ll have to decide what the character in the story should do.

Story #1: Alicia’s Blame Game. One day, Alicia invited her friend, Stephanie, to come over and play after school.They were playing Wii Tennis and Stephanie kept winning, match after match. Finally, Alicia put down her controller and said, “That’s it!” and she started chasing Stephanie all around the house. Alicia wasn’t really mad at Stephanie. She was just having fun chasing her.

But then, as Alicia almost caught up to Stephanie, she tripped and ran right into one of the end tables in the living room. The lamp that was sitting on the end table fell to the ground and smashed into a hundred pieces. That night, when Alicia’s mom came home, she saw that the lamp was missing and asked Alicia what happened. Alicia knew she would be in trouble for rough-housing in the house and breaking the lamp, so she didn’t really want to tell her mom the truth. She thought maybe she could tell her mom that Stephanie broke the lamp instead of her.

What do you think? What should Alicia do? Should she tell her mom the truth that she broke the lamp or she should lie and say that Stephanie broke it?

(She should tell the truth.)

What would happen if Alicia lied and said Stephanie broke it? (Alicia’s mom might call Stephanie’s mom and get Stephanie in trouble for something she didn’t do.)

Story #2: Chad Wets the Bed?! One day, when Chad and Alex went out for recess at school, they couldn’t decide what to play. Chad wanted to pretend to be characters from his favorite TV show, Chaotic: Mirilian Invasion, but Alex wanted to play Yu-Gi-Oh. They couldn’t agree on which one to play, so Chad said, “Okay. I’ll just go play with someone else today.”

It made Alex mad that Chad didn’t want to play what he wanted to play, so he went around to the other kids and told them that Chad still wet the bed at night. Chad didn’t wet the bed, but Alex still said that he did.

What do you think? Should Alex have told that lie about Chad?

(No, he shouldn’t have lied.)

How do you think Chad would feel if he knew Alex was telling that lie about him? (Chad would feel bad. His feelings would be hurt.)

Think back to the story about Alicia and Stephanie. If Alicia told the lie and said that Stephanie broke the lamp, but then Alicia’s mom found out that Alicia really broke the lamp, what would happen to Alicia? (She would get in trouble for breaking the lamp and get in trouble in for lying.)

How would Stephanie feel about Alicia trying to blame her? Do you think she would be mad at Alicia? (Yes.)

And do you think Alicia’s mom would want to trust Alicia again if she found out Alicia lied to her? (It would be hard for Alicia to get her mom’s trust back.)

If the rest of the kids found out that Alex was lying to them about Chad, do you think they would want to trust Alex again? (It would be hard for the kids to believe other things that Alex told them.)

So, it sounds like lying probably isn’t a very good idea, right? It sounds like some bad things can happen when we lie. That’s probably why God tells us not to do it.

(Have a student read Exodus 20:16 , quoted here in the NIV.)

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Who can tell me what that verse means?

“Don’t give false testimony” means “Don’t lie” and”against your neighbor” means “Don’t tell lies about somebody else.” Your neighbor doesn’t mean the person that lives next to you. It means anybody. Don’t tell lies about other people.

That’s why Alicia couldn’t tell a lie about Stephanie and why Alex shouldn’t tell lies about Chad. God wants us to be honest and tell the truth so that people’s feelings don’t get hurt and so people don’t get in trouble for things they didn’t do. He also wants people to be able to trust us.

So remember, “Don’t give false testimony against your neighbor.” Don’t tell lies about other people.

Game: The Child Who Cried Wolf

Tell students the story or read a storybook of The Boy Who Cried Wolf beforehand. Then, have all the students close their eyes. You’ll silently tap one to choose them to be the Wolf. Then, students open their eyes and walk around the room. Their goal is to guess one which is the wolf. The wolf can’t guess.

If someone guesses wrong, they’re out. If someone guesses correctly, everyone chases the Wolf. When someone tags the Wolf, they win. If the Wolf is left with only one other student, the Wolf chases the student and wins when it tags them.

Afterward, explain that it’s okay to be wrong sometimes, but we have to be very careful that we’re telling the truth about other people.

Play as long as time allows, choosing a different student to be the Wolf each time.

Closing Prayer

Lord, You are a God of truth. Help us to always tell the truth when we speak. Don’t let us be tempted to tell lies about other people. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

This lesson is included in my book, The Lord’s Top Ten: Children’s Sunday School Lessons on the Ten Commandments.

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