We all have hurts and disappointments in our lives caused by other people. This is a sad truth in our fallen world. Some are small and some hurts cut so deeply that we may think we’ll never recover. God’s ultimate kindness was shown to us on the cross, and because of that, He calls us to show kindness to others by forgiving them. Forgiveness is not always easy, but when we remember keep our focus on who God is and what He’s done for us, He gives us the strength to show that kindness to others.
KINDNESS: An action that shows you care.
MEMORY VERSE: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. ” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We Can Be Kind to Others by Forgiving Them
This month we’ve already talked about God’s greatest act of kindness, sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. But did you know that even in the midst of that suffering, Jesus showed kindness to others by forgiving them? The crowds mocked Him and the soldiers beat Him, but Jesus asked God to forgive them. Even while He hung on the cross, one of the criminals next to Him saw Jesus for who He really was, the Messiah. The man had done absolutely nothing to deserve God’s kindness, but Jesus forgave Him and promised they would be together in paradise. (Luke 23)
- What does Jesus’ interaction with the criminal on the cross tell you about what you have to do to receive God’s kindness and forgiveness?
- Tell a story about a time someone showed kindness to you by forgiving you for something you had done.
- Is there someone God may be asking you to forgive but you don’t want to? Who? How can your family encourage you to forgive that person this week?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
While at dinner this week ask each of your family members to describe what forgiveness is. A definition of forgiveness could be -- giving up my right to hurt you in response to you hurting me. The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, we seek his or her forgiveness in order for the relationship to be restored. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves to be forgiven. Instead, it is an act of love, mercy, and grace.
Friend: Drive Time
As you’re in the car this week, play a game to help commit our verse from this month (Ephesians 4:32) to memory. Take turns saying one word each of the verse, see how many times you can say it before the red light turns green, see who can say it the most times in between stop signs, etc. Have fun!
As your kids are getting ready for bed, ask them if there has been a time they’ve been shown forgiveness. Then, read this story about forgiveness and tell them that it points to a REAL story! Click this link for the story. After reading it, ask them if they saw that it was about them and ask who they were in the story. Talk about what the story tells us about God’s kindness to us.
Ask your family to write down a way that they have been hurt by someone on a piece of paper. Discuss what it would mean for them to forgive that person for what they did. Explain how forgiveness is not holding onto the wrongs that have been done to you. Then take all the pieces of paper that have their hurts written on them and think of fun ways to destroy them. You could tear them up, throw them away, burn them, or find a way to make them explode!
Thank God for His ultimate act of kindness on the cross. Ask Him to help you offer forgiveness and ask for it when needed.
Next week we will begin a new trait, CONTENTMENT!
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