How we feel about ourselves affects everything we say and do.
When we base our self-worth on what others say about us or how we view ourselves, we will never be at peace with who we truly are and how God made us.
Use this junior high lesson on self-esteem to remind students to find their worth in who God says they are – not how they feel about themselves.
– Nick Diliberto, Junior High Ministry
JUNIOR HIGH LESSON ON SELF-ESTEEM
Bible: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Bottom Line: Find your worth in who God says you are – not how you feel about yourself.
- Paper Balls (newspaper or scrap paper)
- 2 Large pieces of paper
- Painter’s tape (2 rolls)
OPENING GAME: FACE BALL
Using the Sharpie, draw a giant face on each of the two large pieces of paper.
Use the painter’s tape to hang the faces on the wall.
Also, use the tape to create a line across the floor, about 4 feet in front of the wall where the face pictures are hanging.
Divide students into two teams of equal size.
Give each team a stack of newspaper or scrap paper, and a roll of painter’s tape.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Most of us try really hard to have clear skin, and a smooth face, except for you guys that are working on an awesome mustache.
For our game, I have taped two large faces on the wall.
Designate one face for each team.
Each of your teams has been given a stack of paper and a roll of tape.
When I say GO, your teams will stand behind the line on the floor.
Some of you will work on creating paper balls and wrapping them with tape.
And some of you will have the job of hurling your team’s paper balls at your team’s face.
You can’t step over the line at any point during the game.
The goal is to stick as many paper balls as you can to your team’s face.
When I call “time’s up,” I will award a point for each ball that is stuck to your team’s face.
The team with the most points wins!
Say: Today, we’re talking about self-esteem – we all have it, and some of ours needs a little work.
Maybe you have had times when you felt like the face in our game.
Maybe it’s not paper balls being thrown at you… but it might be insults or hurtful words that honestly, can feel just as bad.
Our society has a lot to say about how a person looks on the outside.
Webster’s Dictionary defines beauty as – ‘the quality of being physically attractive.”
Ask: So, let’s begin by answering this question… What do you think makes someone beautiful?”
Allow a few responses from students.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Beauty is only skin deep” – but, I want to challenge all of us to look for the beauty that goes beyond what we see on the outside.
Because whether we are what the world considers to be “beautiful” or not, who you are on the inside is everything.
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about who we are…
Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.
So you must honor God with your body.
There are lots of things that we do that do not “honor God” with our body.
That includes allowing ourselves to feel like we aren’t good enough, whether it’s how we look or even our personality.
What would it be like if you could read the minds of your peers as you walk down the hallways at your school?
You can imagine that you would hear a variety of things, and some of them aren’t appropriate for our group, but you would undoubtedly hear a lot of comparisons.
Many times, we decide how we feel about ourselves by comparing ourselves to others or listening to what others say about us, but the truth is that not one bit of your self-worth should depend on how others accept or view who you are.
Because if you find that you are continually trying to prove your worth to anyone, you have already forgotten your value.
Your value doesn’t decrease because someone doesn’t value who you are – and you know what? – Your value doesn’t increase because of what others think about you.
You must find your value in who God says you are.
In the verses we just read, God says that you are the “temple of the Holy Spirit.”
In the Old Testament, the temple was an exceptional place and had specific rules about how it was to be taken care of.
It was a place where priests made sacrifices, and God spoke with them – it was a holy place.
In the Scripture we read, it is obviously speaking through a metaphor – you aren’t a physical temple.
What that scripture means is that when you are a believer and follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) lives inside of you.
Think about it… God isn’t just outside of the universe, or sitting up in Heaven, just watching everything that’s happening down here – He lives inside of you.
God would never allow His Spirit to live inside of anything that didn’t have value – you have value to God.
But the reason you are so valuable is because of the price that was paid by Jesus so you could come to God and give yourself back to Him – after all, He’s the One who created you.
When we think about being a temple of God, it can motivate us to be careful about where we go, what we eat, what we watch, what we listen to, and how we view ourselves.
It can help motivate us to keep his temple pure.
As God lives in you, it impacts those around you because you are carrying God’s Spirit with you everywhere you go.
So, how do you view yourself? Are you happy with what you see?
Think about it and allow God to change how you feel about who you are.
Whether or not you like how you look on the outside, you need to realize that your worth is based on who God says you are – and you’re His temple.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- The Bible says you are “God’s temple.” What does that mean?
- Do you believe you are God’s temple? How does that affect the way you live?
- Does knowing you are God’s temple affect what you say and do? How?
- How can you remind yourself that you are God’s temple every single day?
- Do you treat others like they are one of God’s creations? If so, how? If not, why?
- What is the hardest thing about yourself to accept? The way you look, your personality, etc.?
- Why are some people so hard on themselves? Why is difficult for some people to accept how God made them?
- What can you remember from today’s lesson to remind you how valuable you are to God – even when you don’t feel like it?
- How can you encourage others who have low self-esteem, or don’t think they are very valuable?
- What else does the Bible say about who you? Why is it important to know how God feels about you?
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