FORGIVENESS: When You Don’t Forgive, You Miss Out
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Link to March 29nd Video Worship Service: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8WN0sTci4FGOVQiNULLjtQ/playlists
STEPS FOR EXPLORING THIS WEEKS’ LESSON – FORGIVENESS: WHEN YOU DON’T FORGIVE, YOU MISS OUT
STEP 1) Read scripture together:
- Read: The Parable of the Lost Son (Part 2) – Luke 15: 21-32 (NIV) – 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
- Discuss: When it comes time to forgive someone will you be the father or the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son? Will you freely offer forgiveness, or will you withhold the forgiveness God asks us to give to one another? The Bible doesn’t tell us if the older brother actually ends up forgiving his younger brother or not… what do you think he did? Or what do you think he should do? What might he be missing out on if he chooses not to forgive his brother?
Step 2) Watch the Children’s Sermon Video together and complete the activity at home:
- Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaL4Fb6B9Ms&list=PLWzu5Hp1aUXmp7y3UzwE_9EGT9rFdjE2z&index=4
- Discuss: When was the last time you got in an argument with someone or someone did something to hurt you and it took you some time to forgive that person? While you were still angry at that person, trying to forgive them, what were you missing out on during that time? Were you missing out on having fun with that person? Were you missing enjoying time and friendship with that person? Consider the many different things you might miss out on while you spend time staying angry and holding something against some – not forgiving.
- Activity at Home: Open the Joy
- Supplies: 1) a special sweet treat that needs to be opened with two hands (think of a wrapped piece of candy of special snack, or a tasty bottled drink, 2) strips of paper that are bigger enough to write on. 3) a writing tool
- Completing the Activity:
- Take the strips of paper and write on each one of them something that someone could do to hurt you, or a reason that you wouldn’t want to forgive another person. 1 piece of paper = 1 reason.
- Read each of the situations written on the paper and as you read each one, hold onto them in one hand.
- After all the strips of paper have been read, hold on to them tight in one hand. This is to represent holding onto the anger and hurt that we feel towards someone else when they hurt us
- Now with the other hand, try to open the special treat – using just one hand. (this should be hard)
- MESSAGE: When we hold on so tightly to our anger and hurt, it makes it really hard – maybe even impossible – to reach the joy (the special sweet treat) at the same time. We can’t do both. Only when we let go of our anger, and choose to forgive, can we reach the joy we’ve been missing.
STEP 3) Watch/Listen/Sing the song “You Forgive Me” by Group Publishing:
- Watch/Listen/Sing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO-2fm7IKcU
- OR Watch/Listen/Sing to one of the songs we’ve heard over the last couple of weeks
- Discussion for “You Forgive Me” by Group Publishing: How can God make all things new through forgiveness? How does He help you forgive others? What has he done to forgive you when you have made a mistake and need forgiveness?
- I Can Forgive Coloring Page
- Kids might enjoy coloring this page while they are listening to one of the Forgiveness songs we’ve learned this month or discussing some of the questions related to the song.
- Those of you who attended the Maker Fun Factory VBS a couple of years ago might recognize this song!
STEP 4) Play – Let it Go!
- Supplies: 1) a large ball (the bigger the better 😊), 2) a large amount of small “prizes” (pennies/coins, candy, small toys, stickers, a combination of any of those and more!), 3) a stopwatch
- Completing the Activity:
- Scatter the small “prizes” all over the ground across a large space (an open room or a backyard)
- Tell your children they have 30 second to pick as many of the prizes as they can hold at one time using only their hands
- Introduce the TWIST! While the kids are running around trying to pick up all the prizes, they also have to be carrying the large ball in their arms!
- If you only have one large ball kids can take turns collecting prizes.
- If they drop the ball while they are picking up prizes, they have to put down any prizes they have in their hands and start over.
- Complete the activity a second time only without using the large ball as an obstacle.
- Discuss: Was it easy to collect a bunch of prizes when you had the big ball in your hands? Was it easier with or without the ball? (hopefully they’ll say without). This game represents that when we carry around a grudge or unforgiveness towards someone, we miss out on a lot! Just like when we carries around the big ball, we missed out on a lot more prizes. Remember, when you don’t forgive, you miss out!
STEP 5) Review the “Practice Forgiveness.Matthew Verse” attachment with your child.
- Discuss: Think of something that you need to practice to get better at doing. Ask your children how they learned to get better at that skill – how did they know how to do it the right way? (mostly likely they watched someone, or someone taught them). When we practice and choose forgiveness, we can be an example and teach those around us how to forgive.
- Pray: Dear God. Thank you for showing us examples of forgiveness, so that we may learn, and practice, and teach forgiveness to others. We all need forgiveness so we don’t miss out. Amen
STEP 6) Read through the attached “Parent Cue W5” Handout about Forgiveness and consider sharing a story from your life about a time when you chose not to forgive and you ended up missing out. Ask your children if they’ve experienced a time like this. As you share in conversation, remember the invaluable importance of simply being present and a safe place for your child to land.