To show youth that even when people mess up and hurt us, it is our responsibility to forgive them – which doesn’t mean trusting them again, but simply showing them grace despite their mistakes
Go around the room and have everyone share one high point (best thing) and one low point (worst thing) about their week
If you could steal one thing from someone or somewhere with no consequences, what would you take? What made you choose what you chose?
Would you rather steal something and be on the run for your life, or have something special to you stolen from you and not be able to get it back?
What did you think about the story of Jacob & Esau, and how Jacob was so manipulative and deceptive in stealing his brother’s birthright & blessing?
If you were Esau in this story, how mad would you have been at Jacob? Would you have tried to kill your brother?
- Do you think Esau was justified in wanting to kill his brother for what he had done, or was that an unacceptable response?
Has someone ever done something or said something that hurt you? If so, how did you respond? (Typically people respond with fight or flight; either revenge, or trying to ignore it)
- Do you think your response was the correct response? Is there a better way you could’ve handled the situation?
Read this quote by Jeanne Mayo: “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”
- Do you agree with that view? What makes you agree or disagree?
- What do you think are the dangers of unforgiveness? How can unforgiveness hurt you?
Read Matthew 18:15 – “If someone hurts you, go and tell them—work it out between the two of you. If they listens, you’ve made a friend. If they won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again.”
- What do you think Jesus is challenging us to do here? Do you think that this is a good idea, or a bad idea, when it comes to dealing with someone who hurt you?
Have you ever done something that hurt someone else, and had them forgive you? What happened, and how did it make you feel?
Is it easy to forgive someone when they hurt you? What makes it easy or difficult?
- What are some things we can do to forgive others more effectively?
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.