Television. Music. Celebrities. Commercials. News. Friends. Movies. What is one thing all of these have in common? They all help to shape the way we think. Just like we can mold play-doh into shapes, these things all mold our mind to think in certain ways. Our thoughts end up guiding our words and actions. That’s why it is so important to be careful with what we let fill up our minds. Do you spend time filling your mind with things of this world or do you choose to follow God’s way and think about things that honor Him?
SELF-CONTROL: Giving up my way and choosing God's way.
MEMORY VERSE: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.” PROVERBS 25:28 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We Choose To Honor God With Our Minds
Oh, Peter. In Matthew 16:16 he made his greatest profession of faith and correctly identified Jesus as the promised Messiah, but then just a few verses later, Jesus rebuked him for being more concerned with worldly things instead of the things of God. We’ve all been there. One moment we have our thoughts fixed on what is true and admirable but the next we’re following the ways of the world and allowing ourselves to be distracted from what is true. Thankfully, God forgives and still uses imperfect people like Peter and us despite our flaws and lack of self-control. The truth Peter proclaimed is still true: Jesus is the Messiah, and because of Him, the Holy Spirit can help us fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable – HIM!
- Read Matthew 16:13-18 and 21-26. How did Peter fix his thoughts on godly things in the first half of the story but then miss the mark the second half?
- Read Philippians 4:8. Talk about what all these words mean. How can the Holy Spirit help us think about godly things?
- How do movies, tv, celebrities, music, commercials, etc. shape the way we think? Why does it matter what we fix our thoughts on?
- What is one thing you might have to give up in order to follow God’s way instead of your own with your thoughts?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
At dinner this week, read aloud this section of an article written by Steven J. Cole about mental self-control and discuss it. “One of the most helpful things I have learned about the Christian life is that all sin begins in our thoughts, which the Bible often calls ‘the heart.’ No one commits these outward sins without first having committed them in his mind. If we want to grow in godliness, we must win the battle over sin on the thought level." (See also Mark 7:20-23. Read it together as a family, or summarize it as appropriate, and ask your kids what God’s Word says about actions beginning with what we think about.)
Friend: Drive Time
How about a little memory verse review during drive-time this week? Review Proverbs 25:28 together, then see how fast, how many times, who can say it the most in between stoplights, etc., as you spend time in the car this week.
As your family is getting ready for bed, spend a little time praying that God would renew your thought life. Spend just 5 -10 minutes being silent and thinking about God and His love. Afterwards, you can share how being quiet and dwelling on who God is was helpful for you.
Be creative this week in thinking through how you can fill your mind with thing that honor God by adding some fun activities to your routine. You could read C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, watch an uplifting movie, listen to a good audio book or podcast, or listen to your favorite worship music. Did someone say dance party?!
Thank God for His strength to help you have mental self-control and for not giving up on you but offering forgiveness and grace when you choose your own way.
We are excited to begin our new character trait, kindness!