To help youth realize the power each of us carries through our voice – and to begin to realize the power forgiveness has on our lives
Go around the room and have everyone share one high point (best thing) and one low point (worst thing) about this past week
Who would be the worst person/type of person to be stuck in an elevator with? How about the best person/type of person to be stuck in an elevator with?
Would you rather ask for permission to do something, or do it and then ask for forgiveness?
What did you think of the story of the unforgiving servant and how even after he had been forgiven for his debt, he still went after the people who owed him?
- If you were the servant, would you have demanded your friend pay you back even after being forgiven your debts? Why or why not?
What do you think it means to forgive someone?
- When someone does something or says something that hurts you, do you find it easy or hard to forgive them? What makes it easy or hard for you?
Read Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
- Have you ever had someone hurt you so bad that you needed to forgive them 77 times? If you feel comfortable, are you willing to share?
- Why do you think Jesus is putting such a high priority on forgiveness? What does forgiving someone 77 times actually look like?
Has there ever been a point in your life where you chose not to forgive someone? How did that make you feel? If you feel comfortable, feel free to share what happened.
- Did you end up ever forgiving the person?
During her message, Kim said “Forgiveness opens up your heart to love; it allows you to let go of the anger and replace it with joy and peace… When you truly forgive someone, your heart and mind feel light, spiritually and psychologically”
- Do you agree with what Kim is saying here? In your experience, what happens when you forgive someone?
Read Colossians 3:13 – “We need to forgive one another as Christ forgave us”
- Do you agree with this verse? In your opinion, why might it be important to forgive others because of what God did for us?
Personally, what do you think is the power of forgiveness? How does forgiveness affect your life?
ACT IT OUT:
People will often do things – whether intentionally or not – that hurt us. Sometimes it is something small, sometimes it is something huge; but throughout life, people will often hurt us – and even when it’s hard, we are called to forgive them.
This week, if you are struggling with unforgiveness – i.e. if someone has hurt you and you don’t want to forgive them, we want to challenge you to take some time alone to pray and ask God for help in forgiving them. It may be difficult, but we challenge you to audibly say “I forgive ________(insert name here) for doing/saying ____________ to me”. And then whenever you feel unforgiveness showing back up, remind yourself that you have chosen to forgive.
Ask your group/child if there are any prayer requests or praise reports that they would like to share. Take a moment and pray over all the requests.