It’s easy to say something hurtful about someone else when they aren’t standing in front of you.
In a world where many students are communicating behind screens more than face to face, it has become harder to foresee the impact of their words.
Gossip is something that everyone struggles with.
The bottom line is that gossip hurts others.
Use this lesson to help students avoid gossip and use their words to build up and encourage others.
– Nick Diliberto, Junior High Ministry
JUNIOR HIGH MINISTRY LESSON ON GOSSIP
Written by Brian Preiser
Bible: Ephesians 4:29
Bottom line: Gossip never brings honor to God. Instead, use your words to build up and encourage others.
Pencils or Pens
OPENING GAME: STORY WORD SCRAMBLE
Divide the group into two teams.
Have each team write a short story (2-3 sentences) largely on a piece of paper.
Take a picture with your cell phone or write down each team’s stories.
Have the team cut out each individual word of the story.
Trade the pieces of paper with the other teams.
Ask the teams to take their newly given words and attempt to tape them back together, recreating the story.
(Remember, they do NOT know what the other team’s story is about).
Give each team 10-15 minutes to complete this task.
At the end, compare what they had come up with, with the original picture or copy you have taken down.
The team that is most accurate to the original WINS!
Has someone ever told you something that you later found out was not true?
Sometimes people will tell us things about someone else, that sound like facts, but aren’t entirely true.
Share a moment in your own life where you heard something, but later found out it wasn’t true.
If someone has ever spread a rumor about you, you know the damage that it can cause.
Gossip is something that causes people a lot of pain.
When people say things about us that aren’t true, it can affect how people treat us.
It can even make us question how people view us and wonder what they really think about us.
The Bible talks a lot about gossip, and how we should talk to others.
Read Ephesians 4:29.
Everything we say is a reflection of what we believe.
The Apostle Paul is challenging us to speak in ways that encourage people, rather than discourages people.
Has anyone ever been encouraged by gossip?
Most of the time, gossip is spread to hurt, rather than help you.
Jesus has given us new life so that we can be a light to people living in a dark world.
When we gossip about others, we are not pointing people towards Jesus.
But what happens when someone is gossiping about you?
Share a time in your childhood when you found out someone was spreading a rumor about you.
If you ever heard anyone gossiping about you, you know that it can make you feel pretty horrible.
As Christians, we must focus more on what God says about us then what other people say about us.
Compile a list of things that God says about us and scripture to support it.
A few examples are…
God says that we are His masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10.
God says that He will never leave us. Deuteronomy 31:6.
God says that He loves you so much He sent Jesus to die for you. John 3:16.
But sometimes it is hard for us to believe what God says when people are gossiping about us.
It is important to spend time with God
When we see what God says about us in His Word, we realize that it never changes.
God doesn’t gossip about you.
God doesn’t spread rumors about you.
God desires a relationship with you.
Everything that God says about you is good and true.
As Christians we are called to live like Jesus lived.
We shouldn’t gossip about others.
We shouldn’t spread rumors about others.
Instead we should live a life where everything we say about others is good and true because we understand that God says those things about us.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
Why do you think people gossip?
When someone gossips about you, what do you usually do?
What are some ways that you can speak things that are good and true to your friends this week?
How often do we gossip about others because they’ve gossiped about us?
What is a Bible verse that you read to remind yourself of what God thinks of you?
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