Here’s a quick overview of this free lesson: There are things about ourselves and others that we struggle to accept. God chose you because He loves you for who you are. Just as He made allowances for your faults, He expects you to make allowances for the faults of others.

Before you view the lesson below, watch this quick video I put together sharing why this message is so important for students to grasp, and my own struggle with acceptance as a young person.

Youth Group Lesson on Acceptance

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO THIS LESSON

Bottom Line: There are things about ourselves and others that we struggle to accept. God chose you because He loves you for who you are. Just as He made allowances for your faults, He expects you to make allowances for the faults of others.

Bible: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” – Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

Opening Game

Supplies

Paper

Pens/crayons/markers

Table/flat surface

Blindfolds

Space Requirements

Room upfront for four-eight people to work side by side at tables

Game Description

Divide contestants into pairs. One partner will be blindfolded. The other will not be allowed to make any noises whatsoever. During the allotted time (1-2 minute rounds recommended) the partners must work together despite their individual “flaws” to have the blindfolded person draw the items listed on a sheet of paper that only his/her partner can see. The non-blindfolded partner helps the blindfolded partner by giving advice and direction,  but cannot do the actual drawing him/herself. The Team that finishes drawing the most amount of items wins. In the event of a tie, the leader (or a panel of judges) can judge the quality artwork to determine the winner.

Items to Draw

Cross

Smiley face

Heart

Stick figure

Tree

Bird

Cat

Football

Chair

The capital letter “G”

Cell phone

Flower

Game Tie-in

In this game, students with different “flaws” were forced to work together to overcome them. Though they probably wanted to, they couldn’t change their partner’s flaws just as they couldn’t change their own. Instead, they had to make “allowances” for them to move on and complete the challenge at hand.

Teach

Doesn’t it just stink when there’s something you don’t like, but there’s nothing you can do about it? Sometimes, there are things about ourselves that we wish we could change. Maybe we don’t like our physical appearance.

We just don’t feel like we are attractive enough like we don’t live up to the unrealistic expectations of popular culture. Sometimes there is something that we wished that we could be better at, but no matter how hard we try, we just don’t improve, at least not in a way that satisfies.

What about when your issue is with someone else? Maybe there’s a person or group of people in your life with whom you just can’t get along.

It could be an attitude issue or perhaps this person treats you poorly. In the scenarios I have described, the circumstances might be different, but they point to the same unfortunate truth: we can’t always make things (people) the way we want.

Sure, we can do our best to minimize the problem through fashion choices, avoiding the activity we struggle at or ignore the people who bother us, but they are still there. Life is often outside of our ability to control.

That’s just… well… Life. Cheerful topic, huh? Don’t you wish I could just give you the secret answer that will solve all of life’s problems? In truth, I can, but it may not be the solution you are hoping for. The solution boils down to one word—acceptance.

Accepting Others

I’m going to start with the second scenario first. Take a moment to close your eyes. Who is the person or persons in your life that you are having a hard time accepting?

Why do you have a hard time accepting this person(s)? It is entirely possible that you have every reason to dislike this person. He/she might treat you poorly, might do things to you that Jesus would frown upon. That, however, doesn’t change God’s solution.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” – Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

Let’s look at a few key points in this verse.

God chose you to be holy.

The Creator of the Universe looked down at the billions of people that have walked the earth since He formed it and said, “I choose you.” That’s pretty amazing. He chose you for a purpose—to be holy. Because of this He expects us to live a certain way—to be merciful, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.

Make allowances for each other’s faults.

People aren’t perfect. If you are willing to be honest, neither are you. Everyone has faults. As much as we would love to be able to fix them, learning to accept others requires us to make allowances—make room—for other people’s faults.

Forgive like Jesus.

Finally, the key to learning how to accept others is to forgive like Jesus. We could spend a lifetime describing the ways that Jesus has forgiven us. Let’s hone in on just a couple. First, Jesus forgave when we didn’t deserve it. The just reward for our sinful lives (yes, we all sin) is death—an eternity separated from God. Instead, He forgives everyone who follows Him. Second, He forgives and forgets. Boy, isn’t that the hardest part of forgiveness? If we are to learn to accept others, we must forgive them even if they don’t deserve it. We must also not continue to hold it against them for how they treated us.

Accepting Others

I decided to finish with this because, in my experience, accepting one’s self is the hardest thing to do. We all have flaws, but even though we know this, it is hard to get past the flaws we see in ourselves. Popular culture often doesn’t help with this.

For someone to truly live up to the “ideals” we see in the media, he/she would have to be obscenely rich, have access to the best plastic surgeons in the world, and be willing to sell his/her very soul to achieve “perfection.”

Here’s the saddest truth of all: there are plenty of people in the world right now with the means to do just that, and guess what, they are some of the most unhappy people alive.

The truth is that God doesn’t make mistakes. He created you and loves you for who you are right now. Next time you have a chance, look in a mirror and study the person looking back at you.

This person is so amazing in God’s eyes that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son to brutal torture so that He could spend an eternity with you.

Let’s look at a few things the Bible says about how He sees you.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalms 139:14 (NIV)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NLT)

Look at some of those key words: God’s masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Those words describe you. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you.

You’re not perfect. You may not be the person you’d like to be, but never forget that God would do it all over again just for you.

You are His masterpiece.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

God has already accepted you.

Now, it’s on you to start accepting yourself.

Small Group Discussion Questions

Which is harder for you, accepting others or accepting yourself? Why?

How can you start making allowances for other people’s faults starting today?

What does it mean to forgive like Jesus?

What does it mean to be “fearfully and wonderfully made”?

What are some ways that you feel God has shown you that He loves you just the way you are today? 

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO THIS LESSON

Liked this lesson? You’ll also like this one…

Youth Group Lesson on Giving

 

14 thoughts on “Youth Group Lesson on Acceptance

  • September 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm
    Permalink

    Im not 100% understanding what the non-blindfolded partner is supposed to be doing. If they cannot talk or draw it themselves, yet they are the only ones who can see what the blindfolded person has to draw. How are they to get them to draw it without moving their hands or giving them instruction? Are they able to move and reposition their partners hands to help them draw but just cannot draw it themselves? I felt like I needed a bit more clarification on what this end up looking like when it is played out. Thanks! I enjoy these lessons, they are a huge help in planning the month and getting volunteers to teach on days I am unable.

    Reply
    • September 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm
      Permalink

      Jesse, glad you enjoy the lessons. I just made the change to clarify the role of the non-blindfolded partner. That person gives direction and advice to the blindfolded person, but cannot actually do the drawing. Hope that helps. Enjoy!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm
    Permalink

    Love Love Love your lessons!!! Keep up the great work. I am teaching the Acceptance lesson tonight! I’m excited!

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 10:05 am
      Permalink

      Very cool. How did the lesson go? Love to get feedback.

      Reply
  • September 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm
    Permalink

    It went very well! They were very attentive and interactive. The activity was a hit as well! I used my laptop to show them the video you attached as well. Love each and every one of these topics. Not sure which one I’m going to use this week, but which ever one I choose I know they will get a lot out of it!

    Reply
  • January 18, 2016 at 7:15 am
    Permalink

    Great lesson, Nick, and thank you for sharing it. I had the same problem as Jesse. I think the hang up is the line that says, “The other will not be allowed to make any noises whatsoever.” It’s hard to give advice/direction without using words. I had a couple ideas on how to clear this up:

    1. The non-blindfolded person can talk. However, they cannot say the name of or spell the item they are trying to describe. All they can do is describe it.

    2. The drawer (previously the blindfolded person) is not blindfolded at all. Instead the sheet with the words on it is covered up so the reader (previously the non-blindfolded person) is the only person who can see it. In this scenario, the reader reads the hidden word and treats it like a game of charades. They have to mime the word to the best of their ability and then the drawer has to draw what they think the word is.

    Either way, I think it would work well. I hope this helps and brings some clarity. I’m planning to use this lesson tonight and will probably go with the 1st option I suggested. I appreciate the fresh ideas, Nick. I’ve been in youth ministry almost ten years now and it’s nice to get some fresh lesson ideas to run with. Our youth ministry budget is almost nothing, so I appreciate your making it available too.

    Reply
    • January 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm
      Permalink

      Dave, thanks so much for this. I appreciate you giving some options for others. You’re awesome! And glad we could help provide your youth ministry with some free lessons and games 🙂 Keep up the great stuff you’re doing!

      Reply
      • April 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm
        Permalink

        Wow I love the lesson it was an eye opener to our youth group. God bless you

        Reply
  • March 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm
    Permalink

    Love the lessons! I’m new to your sight and its a blessing.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2016 at 9:54 am
      Permalink

      Awesome!

      Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 9:58 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for all the free lessons you provide, I am new at youth ministry and have really enjoyed being able to use the free lessons to get us going. The children seem to really enjoy them. I have kids from age 13 to 18. Keep up the lessons they are reaching the kids with a great impact. We had 3 baptized last week. Karen

    Reply
    • September 9, 2016 at 10:32 pm
      Permalink

      Karen, that’s great…congrats on the 3 baptized students. Awesome! Glad we could provide you with some awesome lessons and games! Keep up the great stuff you’re doing!!

      Reply
  • September 7, 2016 at 11:07 am
    Permalink

    Rebranding our church, restarting the youth ministry and now have the resources all right here! Tried to look at other “curriculum” but your material is like my wedding dress – went with the first one I tried! Can’t wait to use this for our students in “Crosswalk”!

    Reply
    • September 9, 2016 at 10:35 pm
      Permalink

      Margaret…love your “wedding dress” analogy! Ha…that’s a good one! Glad you found our stuff helpful 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *