Category Archives: Self-worth

Source of My Identity (LESSON)


image-identity-in-christTime

30 minutes
Description

This lesson explores many of the things in which people base their identity and sense of self-worth, e.g., wealth, power, fame, etc. It encourages participants to consider the danger of living life in this way and the value of basing our identities solely in Christ.

Scriptures (choose from the following)

  • Genesis 1:27 (We are created in God’s image.)
  • John 1:12 (We are children of God.)
  • Romans 8:14-17 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27 (We are the Body of Christ.)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 (We are a new creation.)
  • Galatians 3:26-28 (We are one in Christ Jesus.)
  • Galatians 4:6-7 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • Ephesians 2:10 (We are God’s masterpiece.)
  • Philippians 3:20 (We are citizens of heaven.)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (We are children of the light and of the day.)
  • 1 Peter 2:9 (We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.)
  • 1 John 3:1 (We are children of God.)
  • 1 John 4:15 (W live in Christ, and He lives in us.)

Materials

  • Bible
  • Notecards – 20-25
  • Slips of paper with the Scriptures you want to use (one set of verses per slip of paper)

Preparation

  • Write out the following words or phrases, each on an individual note card. Depending on your group size, you may want to use fewer cards or make up more of your own.
    • # of Likes on Social Media
    • # of People They Know
    • # of Social Media Friends or Followers
    • Ability to Avoid Sin / Goodness
    • Accomplishments
    • Education
    • Experiences
    • Fame, Notoriety, Reputation
    • Hours Spent at Church
    • Misfortunes / Suffering
    • Money
    • People of Status That They Know
    • Personality (ex. Extravert or Introvert)
    • Position or Status
    • Preferences (ex. Dog Person or Cat Person)
    • Social Class
    • Sports Teams
    • Talents / Skills
    • Volunteer Work / Good Deeds
    • Where They Grew Up
    • Where They Went to School
  • Shuffle the notecards, and keep them in a stack for passing out, or place them facedown on a table.
  • Write the Scriptures you want to use on slips of paper (one set of verses per slip).
  • Pass out the slips of paper to different participants before you begin, and ask them to be ready to read them out loud.

Procedure

  • “If someone asked you who you are, you would probably describe yourself by telling them something about your experience, or what you do for a living or where you grew up or went to school.”
  • “I would do the same. It’s the way that we help other people get to know something about us.”
  • “But some people get confused and think that their identity is actually based in those things that they use to describe themselves.”
  • “They organize their lives around those things, and their sense of self-worth is totally tied up in them.”
  • “Let’s do an icebreaker to illustrate what I mean.”
  • “I’m going to pass out a notecard to each one of you.” (Alternatively, you could pass it out to pairs or trios, and they can role-play together. If you put the cards on a table, let participants come and select one.)
  • “Read your card, but don’t show it to anyone.”
  • “I’m going to pick the first person, and I want you to come up front and act out the things a person might say if they were the type of person who based their whole identity on what’s on your card.”
  • “The rest of us are going to try to guess what your card says.”
  • “Once someone guesses, you get to pick the next person (or group) to go.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer Questions. Then choose the first person to come role-play what’s on their card. Afterward, debrief with the following questions.)

Debrief

  • “What do you think the dangers are of basing our identity in these things?”
  • “Where should we base our identity? Why?” (Have volunteers read the Scriptures you gave them before you started, and discuss the implications of each one.)
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Body of Christ, identity, self-image, Self-worth

An Unfinished Work (QUICK DRAMA)


SCENE:       Alex is painting on a canvas mounted on an easel. The audience cannot see what is being painted, because the painting is facing away. Alex is deeply absorbed in his work and doesn’t notice when John enters.

JOHN:          Hey, Alex!  What are you doing?

ALEX:          Painting a self-portrait.

JOHN:          (Looking very skeptical…)  Really? It doesn’t look much like you.

ALEX:          Well, I’m not finished yet.

JOHN:          Hmmm…  I don’t think you’ll be able to make it work.  Maybe you could turn it into a picture of a monkey or something.

(Janet enters.)

JOHN:          Hey, Janet!  Take a look at this!  Don’t you think it looks like a monkey?

JANET:        No, but maybe it could be a penguin or something. What’s it supposed to be?

JOHN:          It’s supposed to be a self-portrait, but I wouldn’t tell anyone if I were you, Alex.

ALEX:          (Concentrating) It’s not done yet. I’m still working on it.

(Tony enters)

JANET:        Hey, Tony!  Come look at this penguin Alex is painting!

TONY:          That’s a penguin?  Looks more like a kangaroo to me.

JANET:        Oh, you’re right!  I see it now!

JOHN:          Better make it into a kangaroo, Alex.  It’s never gonna look like you.

ALEX:          (Pausing and looking at his friends) Of course it doesn’t look like me….yet.  It’s a work in progress. You shouldn’t judge a work of art before it’s finished. (Returns to painting with great concentration)

(John, Janet and Tony watch in silence as Alex paints.  After a few moments, their eyes grow wide in a look of surprise, and they all say, “Ohhhhhh…” in unison.”)

JOHN:          I see it now!

JANET:        That’s amazing!

TONY:          You turned that kangaroo into you!

(Alex stops painting, smiles big with satisfaction and takes the painting off the easel.  He then walks out of the room with his painting, being careful not to reveal it to the audience (unless you want to put an actual photograph on the canvas for effect).  John, Janet and Tony follow with “oohs” and “ahhhs” and other expressions of surprise and appreciation.)

END SCENE

NOTE:          The main teaching point of this drama is that we shouldn’t judge other people or even ourselves, because we are all a work in progress.  None of us matches the vision God has of what He knows we can be one day if we follow Him and obediently continue to do what He says in His Word.  If you don’t think this was clear, you may want to say it as you debrief the drama.

If you want to tie this to a Biblical story, you could use any of the following:

  • Moses, who was “slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 3-4)
  • Gideon, who the angel of the Lord called a “mighty warrior”  even when he was hiding from the Midianites. (Judges 6)
  • Isaiah, who was a man of “unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6)
  • Simon, who Jesus called “Peter” (the “rock”) even when He knew Simon would deny he even knew Jesus three times. (Matthew 16:13-20 and 26:69-75)

 

3 Comments

Filed under drama, Gideon, Isaiah, Moses, Peter, self-image, Self-worth, Youth

Weakness (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures, and then discuss the questions below.

  • Psalm 10:2 (the wicked man hunts down the weak)
  • Psalm 41:1-3 (blessed are those who have regard for the weak)
  • Isaiah 40:29-31 (He increases the power of the weak)
  • Ezekiel 34:16 (I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak)
  • Acts 20:35 (we must help the weak)
  • Romans 8:26 (the Spirit helps us in our weakness)
  • Romans 14:1-4 (accept the one whose faith is weak)
  • Romans 15:1 (bear with the failings of the weak)
  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (God chose the weak things to shame the strong)
  • 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (to the weak, I became weak)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:21-26 (the weaker parts of the body are indispensable)
  • 2 Corinthians 11:30 (I will boast of the things that show my weakness)
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (for when I am weak, then I am strong)
  • Hebrews 5:1-3 (the high priest is subject to weakness)
  1. How does God feel about weakness?
  2. How is this different from how the world often feels about and acts toward weakness?
  3. How are we called to respond to weakness?
  4. How do these Scriptures relate to the weaknesses people have in regard to the work that they do and the relationships that they are in?
  5. Do you think God wants us to fix our weaknesses?  Why or why not?

Leave a comment

Filed under acceptance, Agape Love, Bullying, Challenges, Devotion, Humility, Kindness, Love, Relationships, self-image, Self-worth, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Strengths, struggles, temptation, Weakness

Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls (SCENARIOS)


Audience

Teen Girls

Time

30-45 minutes
Description

These scenarios are intended to provide conversation starters for teen girls and a skilled and caring mentor.  They can also be used in group settings, but an adult guide should still be present to provide perspective and wisdom.  The cards address many challenging situations in which young girls might find themselves.

 

Scriptures

o   N/A

 

Materials

o  Scenarios worksheets (attached – 1 per person) or “Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls – Cards” (a file that you can download at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.

o  Something to write with (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Something to write on (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Review the scenarios and delete or pull out any that you don’t want to address.

o  Print the worksheets (1 per person) or the scenario cards (1 per group)

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There are many challenging situations facing teenage girls today.”
  • “If you haven’t thought about how you will prepare for them or respond to them, they could surprise you, and you might find yourself under pressure to make the wrong decision.”
  • “Today, we are going to ask you to think about some of these situations and give your opinion about how you should prepare for or respond to them.”  (If you are using the worksheet, pass it out now, and let the girls have 15-20 minutes to complete it.  You can then discuss their answers as a group, or you can have them turn them in so that you can review them before discussing them at your next meeting.  If you are using the cards, lay them face-down in the center of the group, and have the girls take turns drawing one and responding to it.  Then, allow the other girls to share their thoughts, as well.  Sometimes what they say will be enough on the topic, but at other times, you may need to redirect them by sharing your perspective.  Whenever possible, reference biblical principles.)

 

SCENARIO WORKSHEET

Take some time, and read through each of the following scenarios.  Write how you think you should handle each situation on a separate sheet of paper.  Be sure to number your answers.

 

1.     You and your boyfriend have been dating for three months.  Recently, he has begun to bring up the subject of sex to get your opinion on it.  He says that he wouldn’t ever want to do anything that you didn’t want to do, but you can tell that he is hoping you will say it is okay.

2.     One of your girlfriends confessed to you that she has been thinking about suicide.  Her parents have been fighting for years and are now going through a divorce.  She is unpopular at school, and the boys make fun of her because she is heavy.  Recently, she has even stopped turning in her homework, and her failing grades are getting her into trouble with her parents and with school administrators.

3.     At a party, a popular girl invites you to join her and her friends as they take hits of acid.  You initially say, “No, thanks….I’m okay,” but they begin to make fun of you for being so “straight” and “pure.”  They laugh at you and tell you it’s time to grow up and stop being such a little girl.

4.     You are out driving on a date with a cute boy, and he reaches across you to open the glove compartment of his car.  As he does so, his arm brushes your chest.  You are embarrassed, but he is very apologetic, so you say it was no big deal.  However, an hour later, he does the same thing at dinner as he reaches for the ketchup.

5.     You and a girlfriend are out at the mall.  As she reaches to pick out a bracelet that she likes, you see that she has several dark bruises on her arm under her shirtsleeve.  When you ask her about it, she says that she bumped into something, but you aren’t convinced.  The bruises look like finger marks from her arm being squeezed too hard. You keep asking her about it until she confesses that her boyfriend got angry the other day and shook her a little.  She assures you that it’s the first time anything like this has ever happened.

6.     The word is out all over school about a famous celebrity sex video, and you are surprised to find that someone has sent you the link through email.  Your friend is watching over your shoulder when you open the email and tells you that you should click on the link.  “Everyone has seen it except us,” she says.

7.     Report cards come out, and you are surprised to see that you got a “B” in a class that you should have failed.  You didn’t turn in three assignments this semester, and you’ve been dreading getting your grades.  What was even more surprising is that your teacher commented on how much you’ve improved in getting your homework done.  You’re pretty sure that he made some kind of mistake in his grade book, but you are reluctant to bring it up, because an “F” means you will be grounded and miss this weekend’s social.

8.     A friend has started to look tired all the time.  She has dark patches under her eyes, and she no longer seems to have any energy or spark.  She has also been losing a lot of weight, which is confusing, because she eats more than you or any of your other friends.  You’ve begun to wonder if she might be throwing up whenever she goes to the bathroom after you eat out together.

9.     It is obvious to you that the girls who wear the tightest clothing and the shortest skirts get the most attention from the guys.  You’ve always been modest in what you wear, but it hurts that none of the guys is ever interested in you.  One guy even asked you why you wear “old lady” clothes.

10.  You’re out at the movies with a guy.  When he opens his wallet to pay for your tickets, you notice that he has several condoms in it.

11.  You catch your older brother looking at a pornographic magazine in his room.  He first begs you not to tell, then threatens to get you back if you say anything to Mom or Dad.

12.  You wake up late one night when you hear a noise in the dark.  You look out your window and see your older sister sneaking back into her room.  You look at the clock and see that it’s 4:30 a.m. The next morning, your parents tell you to wake up your sister, and you smell alcohol on her breath when you go to get her.

13.  You’ve got a new teacher – a young guy just out of college, and he is really cute.  All the girls are talking about him.  One day, he asks you to stay for a few minutes after class so that he can talk to you about your last paper.  He is very excited about your writing abilities and tells you that you have talent.  This meeting is followed by several others, and he offers to coach you to help you really develop your writing skills.  You have been meeting a few times a week after school for several weeks, and one day at your meeting, he reaches out and puts his hand on yours.

14.  One of your girlfriends just found out that she is pregnant.  She says that there is no way she can have a baby.  Her parents would do something crazy like sending her to live with her aunt in another state.  Her boyfriend is trying to help her raise the money for the abortion pill, and she has asked if you can help out with a little money.

15.  One of the girls in your first period class is upset, because someone stole her iPod out of her backpack.  This girl is really irritating and has always been mean to you, and you are a little amused to see that something bad has finally happened to her.  Unfortunately, you know who stole the iPod.  You saw one of your good friends listening to it yesterday after school, and you know it is the same iPod because of a scratch that it has on the back cover.

16.  You are at a school social with some friends.  When it is time to leave, you realize that the friend who drove you there has been drinking and is in no condition to drive.  You offer to drive for her, but she refuses and says that she is just fine.

17.  You are at a concert with some friends, and someone passes a joint down the row of seats.  You expect your friends to pass it back the other way, but to your surprise, they all take a hit and then pass it to you.  When you start to refuse, they begin to tease you and put the joint in your face.  They say that you are going to get high off the second-hand smoke anyway – why not enjoy it all the way?

18.  You’ve told your parents that you are going to a sleepover at a friend’s house, but when you get there, you find out that the girls have planned a secret trip to a local dance club.  They are busy getting dressed and putting on make-up so that they look “legal,” and one of the girls says that she is a good friend with the gatekeeper at the door.  He promised that he would let them all in as long as they looked old enough.

19.  While at the mall one weekend, you and your girlfriend meet a couple of cute guys.  They are from your school, but you don’t really know them.  You eat together at one of the fast-food places, and then the guys ask if the two of you can give them a ride home.  When you hesitate, they say, “Come on, it’s not far from here.  It will only take you a few minutes.”

20.  You get a friend request from someone on Facebook.  You don’t recognize the name, but they have lots of the same friends as you, so you approve the request.  As soon as you do, the person starts to chat with you.  You start to chat while looking up his profile.  Unfortunately, you still don’t recognize him, but he looks pretty normal in his photos and he goes to the same high school as you.  He is asking you questions about what you like to do on the weekends and when you aren’t working on homework.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, Daily walk, Decision making, Fear, leadership, Obedience, Priorities, purity, Relationships, self-image, Self-worth, Sex, Sexual Purity, struggles, temptation, test, Witness

Touch of the Master’s Hand


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that God uses what the world hardly values. The touch of the Master’s hand makes all the difference in a person’s life. This lesson is inspired by the poem by Myra B. Welch (printed at the end of the lesson).

Materials

· A violin if you can borrow one. If not, then use a photograph, or just describe the old violin well.

Preparation

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let me tell you a story.”

· “An auctioneer waited for the next piece of merchandise to be wheeled out.”

· “To his disappointment, he saw that it was the old violin.”

· “He had spent time inspecting it before the auction began.”

· “It was weathered and worn, dusty and scuffed, with a split in the neck and some mold on the chin rest.”

· “He was sure it next to worthless, so he started the bidding low.”

· “’Who will give me a dollar?’”

· “’One dollar – Now who will give me two?’”

· “’Two dollars – Now who will give me three?’”

· “’Three dollars – Now who will give me four?’”

· “’Anyone? Anyone? Then, three dollars it is. Going once….Going twice….’”

· “From the back of the room, a chair screeched as a gray-haired man scooted it back to take a stand.”

· “All eyes were on him as he walked to the front of the room and picked up the old violin.”

· “He wiped off the dust and then took a moment to tune the strings.”

· “Picking up the bow, he began to play.”

· “The old violin came to life! Such was the beauty of the music the man played that it brought tears to they eyes of many sitting in their chairs.”

· “When he was done, he quietly laid the violin down on the table and walked out of the auction hall.”

· “A moment went by in complete silence. Then the auctioneer said, ‘Who will bid on the old violin? Do I hear $1,000 dollars?’” (Look expectantly at the group of kids until one of them raises a hand. Make the group part of the auction.)

· “’One thousand! But who will make it two?’” (Find another child with a hand raised and point to him/her. Keep this up for several raisings of the bid to let several kids play a part. It’s not important how high they take the bidding. Have fun with it.)

· “’Two thousand! Yes, and three? Three thousand to that gentleman there! Yes, who will make it four? Four thousand to the lovely young lady!….” (When you are ready to move on, say…)

· “’______ thousand! Going once! Going twice, and gone to the young person in that row!’”

· “A cheer went up, but some wept at what they had just seen.”

· “’What made the difference?’ one of them asked, and the auctioneer replied, ‘It was the thing that always makes the difference, my friends. It was the touch of the master’s hand.’”

· “Then gathering his things, he turned and left, wiping a tear from his eye.”

· “Many people are like that old violin, and the world will tell you and them that they aren’t worth anything.”

· “They will point out everything that’s wrong with the person but nothing that is right, and they will say that the person will never amount to much, never achieve anything worthwhile, never make a difference on this planet.”

· “But I want you to know that God doesn’t make junk and that every person on this earth is made in His image.”

· “Some are old and dusty, some are broken in some way, some are out of tune with the rest of the world.”

· “Some wear their scuffs on the outside where you can see them, and some wear their scuffs in their hearts where you can’t.”

· “But no matter what’s wrong with them, they can still do incredible things in the Master’s hand. That’s our Master, Jesus.”

· “If they will just trust Him with their beat up and broken lives, He will help them make beautiful music.”

· “That music will be a blessing to others, and they will all wonder how such beauty can come from something they thought was so worthless.”

· “You know, this lesson is based upon a poem written by a woman named Myra B. Welch.” (Read poem if you like.)

· “She lived a long time ago (1877-1959) and had such bad arthritis that she had to stay in a wheelchair. She loved to play the organ, but the arthritis made it impossible.”

· “To many, Myra Welch must have been like the old violin – broken and of little worth. But to God, she was priceless!”

· “Though she couldn’t play her organ, she learned that she could write poetry by holding a pencil in each of her deformed hands and typing the words by pushing the keys with the erasers.”

· “Her poems all told of how she rejoiced in God’s love, and they have blessed millions of people around the world.”

· “The world saw her as broken, but the touch of her Master’s hand brought beautiful music from her that blessed many.”

· “And our Master, the Lord Jesus, can do the same for you, too!”

masters-hand

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

“Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar – now who’ll make it two _
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three”. . . but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bidden for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow;
“A thousand dollars – and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand – and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going – and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand –
What changed its worth?” The man replied:
“The touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.
Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on,
He’s going once, and going twice –
He’s going – and almost gone!
But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the MASTER’S hand.

~Myra B. Welch

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, forgiveness, Jesus, Object Lesson, self-image, Self-worth, Transformation, Value