Lessons 3 & 4 for 2nd Week of April 2012
Proverbs 15.1 and John 8.1-11
Purpose of the meeting:
Teach teenagers that when we talk politely we avoid confrontation.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15.1)
Initiating the meeting:
Using a black marker, write three times on a cardboard: “I love Jesus”. Write on the back of the cardboard “I love Jesus.” , “I love Jesus!” , I love Jesus?”. Pay attention to use the punctuation (.), (!), (?). This cardboard will be used at “conclusion”. Begin the intro by saying: today we will talk about an attitude that may seem very different to what we know and see today.
Imagine a teenager from TF Teen is walking on the street and suddenly someone who is screaming nonstop and saying lots of offensive things to them approaches them.
What happens in the end depends on the teens reaction, right? Let’s say that they had a terrible day and are now completely out of Spirit. It’s possible they will try to justify, retaliate and argue in the same way as the person. However, if they do not want to fight, they will answer gently and try to resolve the situation the best way possible. They may even choose to continue walking without responding to the offenses he/she suffered. The other person may even continue talking and being rude, but there comes a point when they will stop.
There is a proverb that says: “It takes two to begin a fight”. Everything begins with the way we say things and what we say. Even when someone has bad intentions or wants to argue, if we realize the other person’s intention and act wisely then what could be a big mess is solved with a few and nice words said at the right time.
Once Jesus was at the temple when the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery and, making her stand up in the middle of everyone, they said to Jesus: “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”(John 8.11).
Besides wanting to put Jesus to the test, the men were prepared to punish her. She would be stoned before everyone including Jesus but with goodness and wisdom the Lord Jesus answered those people with wisely and ended the confusion, avoiding the death of that woman.
Now show the teens the cardboard and ask them to read the sentences (“I love Jesus”, “I love Jesus”, “I love Jesus”) and then say: These sentences are without the punctuation so they have the same meaning. Now observe the same sentences with punctuation (show them the sentences on the reverse of the cardboard) “I love Jesus.”, “I love Jesus!”, “I love Jesus?” Do you see that the punctuated sentences sound different? At first, I’m affirming my love for Jesus; at second, I’m exclaiming, admiring; and in the last, I ask myself if I love Jesus. We can see that one single sign can change the connotation of a sentence as also a rude word can create a big disagreement because: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15.1). We must have wisdom and answer gently, especially when someone has the intention to fight. We must be different, treat all well for we are God’s.
Activity of the 3rd Meeting
Debating the verse
Write the name of all the teenagers on pieces of paper, fold and put them inside a plastic bag. Arrange the room in a circle and ask one teenager to take a paper. The one whose name was picked should talk about what was understood from the verse. After explaining their opinion, they will take another name and this one will continue the debate. Keep listening to the opinions of three more teens. Then, ask them examples they have seen where possible disagreements were avoided because one side was wise and knew how to deal with the situation.
Proverbs 15.1 and 1 Samuel 25.2-35
Purpose of the meeting:
Teach teenagers that we must always think before speaking.
“The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” (Proverbs 15.28)
Initiating the meeting:
Begin the meeting by asking: ‘Do you know ignorant people, who are rude when they speak and it’s becomes impossible to talk to them? (Wait their participation). These people end up alone, with no friends and nobody around them. On the contrary, is the meek person, they are peaceful, right? We will learn in today’s study the importance of being gentle and wise when speaking.
Gentleness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which is less seen nowadays, even inside the Church.
The fact that we are Christians doesn’t mean that we accept to be physically hurt by others but we must not instigate violence neither participate in it. This is not part of biblical principles.
The Bible tells us the story of Nabal, a very prosperous but rude man. Once, David told his servants to make a request to Nabal, saying:
“…Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David. So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited. Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?” (1 Samuel 25.5-11) .
Teens, David had humbly asked for food and Nabal was rude with his servants. Unlike David, who treated the shepherds of Nabal very well. However, knowing the answer, David was angry at such lack of consideration and went to fight Nabal. Abigail, Nabal's wife, was aware of everything that had happened. She was very sweet and gentle with her wisdom and had an important and decisive attitude. She quickly took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched corn, one hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her servants: Go on ahead, I’ll follow you. But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal. As she came riding on her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men comings toward her, and she met them. …When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before him with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name…and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you. David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hand. …Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.