(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)
Jesus Wants Us to Be Good and Kind
Scripture Reference: Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Related Scripture References: Genesis 13; 2 Samuel 9; Ephesians 4:32
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)
Objectives: To teach children that Jesus wants them to be good and kind. Also to teach them that they can be good and kind and still be cool even though their classmates or friends may not think so. Furthermore, to encourage them to be an example of kindness to their friends.
Say: This month we will continue to study about the kind of fruit that doesn’t grow on trees but the kind that others should be able to see in our actions. Today we are going to study about the fruits of goodness and kindness.
Say: Let’s say our memory verses together. Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)
Ask: (Spend 5 to 10 minutes on this section. Children need to think about concrete ways they can show kindness.) Teacher should think of some ways prior to class so they can guide children to think of examples they might not think of on their own. This would be a good opportunity to give examples of how we can show kindness in big ways. Briefly tell them about Operation Christmas Child. Have them consider why we need to be kind to missionaries. How do our missionaries show kindness to others?
• What does it mean to be kind?
• What are some ways you can be kind to others?
• What are some ways other people have been kind to you? Talk about parents, teachers, friends, strangers, and people at church.
Transition into letting the children know God wants them to be kind to other people. This includes their parents, brothers and sisters, friends, teachers at school, teachers at church, and even to people they don’t know. Help children understand that it’s cool to be kind to others. Talk with them about how some of their classmates might make fun of them for being kind. Emphasize that it is more important for us to do what God wants us to do than what others want us to do. Also help them understand that doing what God tells us to might cause other people to make fun of us or even choose not to be our friend but how it is still more important to obey God.
Talk With Students about How They Could Show Kindness in the Following “When” Scenarios:
• When one of their classmates is new to the school and doesn’t have any friends yet.
• When one of their friends is having a sad day.
• When one of their classmates doesn’t understand how to do the work the teacher has assigned.
• When a parent or grandparent of one of their classmates dies.
• When one of their friend’s parents gets hurt badly in an accident.
• When one of their friends doesn’t know how to play a game at school or isn’t very good at the game.
• When one of their classmates gets hurt. Perhaps breaks or fractures a bone.
• When their teacher at school or church is sick.
• When one of their friends forgets their lunch and doesn’t have money to buy any.
Let children draw and then color pictures that show kindness. Then let the students discuss what their pictures are showing.
Be prepared to tell the children the story of Abraham and Lot in Genesis 13.
Abraham was a man whose story is recorded in the Old Testament. He loved God very much and wanted to obey him. God told him to leave his home and all his family and go to a land he had never been to before. God was going to give this land to him and all his children. So Abraham obeyed God and started out for this unknown place. He took his nephew, Lot, with him. Sure enough, after they lived in what God called the “Promised Land” for a number of years, God blessed Abraham and Lot with a lot of money, cattle, sheep, and other things. They were rich. In fact, they both had so much livestock that they needed more land for them to graze on. Even though God had told Abraham all the land belonged to him, Abraham gave Lot the first choice of which land he would like to move to. Though Abraham was kind to Lot, Lot wasn’t to him. Lot took the best pastureland for his livestock and left the poorest land for his uncle. Abraham was kind when he didn’t have to be and when someone wasn’t kind to him in return.
Ask: What do you think this story teaches you about being kind? Should we be kind to those who aren’t kind to us? Why? Remind them that our kindness to others is based on the fact that God is kind to us.
Take Away Story: Teacher should become familiar with the Old Testament story of King David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9.
David became king of God’s people in Israel after King Saul died. King Saul was jealous of David, but Saul’s son Jonathan was a good friend to David. In fact, they were best friends. King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in war, and now David was chosen king. David wanted to know if anyone in Saul’s family was still alive so he could show kindness to them because Saul’s son and his good friend Jonathan had been so kind to him. Sure enough, there was someone left. His name was Mephibosheth, and he was a cripple. David gave all of Saul’s land to Mephibosheth, and he also brought Mephibosheth to the palace to live with him. King David treated him like one of his sons even though he wasn’t. The king’s palace was a beautiful place, and Mephibosheth got to live there. He was also allowed to eat the king’s food. King David showed kindness to someone he didn’t have to.
Ask: What does this story teach us about kindness? Who should we be kind to? When should we be kind? What are some ways God is kind to us?
Wrap Up: Read Ephesians 4:32 (NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Take Away Questions:
• What is one thing you can do this week to be kind to someone else?
• What can you do when you are kind to others and they are not kind to you in return?