As adults, most of us have felt the sting of consequences from even small compromises in our lives.
Your students are beginning to learn valuable lessons from those moments when they compromise.
Sometimes God’s grace seems far away.
And unfortunately, consequences from compromising situations can follow them for the rest of their lives.
Use this lesson to help them examine the motives behind the decisions they make in times when they might compromise.
And remind them that you don’t compromise who you are to please others, but stand firm in Christ.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON COMPROMISE
Written by Tiffany Hollums
Bible: Philippians 1:27
Bottom Line: Don’t compromise who you are to please others, but stand firm in Christ.
Large tarp covered with shaving cream, soap, etc.
2 small buckets in the middle of the tarp
2 pool noodles
Large board or poster
‘Jewels’ for each student
OPENING GAME: STAND FIRM
Say: This game is a test of your ability to ‘stand firm’.
Divide the group into 2 teams.
One at a time, a person from each team will use a pool noodle to ‘duel’ with a person from the other team to see who can stay standing on their teams bucket the longest.
If they step out into the ‘goo’ on the tarp, they are out.
Once someone steps out in the goo in that duel, then 2 other people come to battle until there is only one team standing.
After the game, ask:
- How difficult was it to stay standing in the game?
- What were some strategies you saw that worked in making the opponent get out?
- How would you play this game differently the next time?
Divide the group into groups of 4-5 students and give them this challenge…
Say: Imagine that you are the founders of a new nation.
You have to develop the rules of what it means to be a citizen of this new country.
Come up with a creative way to share your new nation’s rules, or creed, in less than 5 minutes and be sure to do it in a way that convinces us want to move to your country.
Give the groups 5-10 minutes to create their rules or creed.
Help the groups that might be struggling to pull their ideas together.
Give each group 5 minutes to share their new country.
Which country do you want to move to?
Why did you choose that country?
Were there rules that you knew that you couldn’t follow in some countries?
Read Philippians 1:27.
We are citizens of heaven, but what does that mean?
What are the rules, or creed, of Heaven, or of the gospel?
What would it look like to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ?
Write down what the youth or share on a large board or poster.
Which of these rules or ways of living as a citizen of heaven do you find to be the most challenging?
This very day you are faced with situations in which you have to decide whether you will stand or fall.
You might not realize it, but those decisions come every single day to you, and they often start in really small decisions.
What does it mean to ‘stand firm in your faith’ to you?
How would you explain compromise to someone?
What is a positive way that you can compromise?
Now, how can compromise be a negative thing?
Share a time in your life when you compromised who you knew you were to go along with a group or to gain approval.
Each of us has a very real decision to make every single day of whether we are going to live a ‘life worthy of the gospel’ or not.
That’s a pretty high calling, right?
Just think this week: What were some ways that you failed to live a life worthy of the gospel?
If they feel comfortable sharing have them share, but don’t force them to share.
You could also share a way that you failed this week to live this way.
Sometimes it can be that living to please those around you is in fact compromising who you really are.
But here is one thing you might not realize about living as a citizen of heaven: You can’t do it on your own and God knows that.
There is no way that we can live every single moment in a way that honors who we really should be in Christ, but does that mean that we don’t try?
No, but we can only truly live for Christ when we allow him to live in us.
What are some of the ways that you see others compromising who they are?
Examples: Hanging with friends who do things they know aren’t right, making decisions like drinking or using drugs, dating relationships that ‘go too far’, language that you’d never use around your ‘church friends’, etc.
And here is the question I want you to consider: Why are they compromising?
Have you ever stopped to really consider – Why am I making the decisions or doing the things that I am doing?
Why am I saying this or doing that?
Why am I posting this picture?
Why am I getting into this situation?
Because here is a truth about what happens in these moments…
When you compromise, you compromise who you are to please those who probably don’t care about who you are in the first place.
Let me put it a different way: Would someone who truly and deeply cares about you WANT you to compromise who you are?
So what are some of the ways that you can tell when you are compromising?
Write down what they share, and add any of the following: a guilty feeling, you know that you will get in trouble, or you are breaking a rule.
Here are some pretty solid clues to look for when you are compromising who you are:
- You feel guilty. Trust this feeling because this is often the Holy Spirit reminding you that you are a citizen of heaven and not of this world. Don’t ignore those guilty feelings.
- You find yourself lying. When you have to stretch or omit the truth that is a really good clue that you are compromising and doing things that you know deep down aren’t right.
- You find yourself being asked to do or doing things that are clearly not things a citizen of heaven would do. If you wouldn’t do or say this with Jesus sitting right by you….you are on the line of compromise.
Remind yourself: This is not who I am.
Some of you might need to even backup and spend some time looking at this description of what it means to be a Citizen of Heaven and decide once and for all that that is who you are.
Some of you made the decision a while ago, but each compromise you have made lately has seemed to take you further and further away from this (point to the list of the Citizen of Heaven description).
And some of you are truly trying to live this way and it is hard.
Know that you are not alone.
Christ knows better than anyone that living as a citizen of heaven is hard.
It can be lonely.
That is why we are told to stand firm.
To not compromise.
And to look to the reward that will be waiting for us.
You are a citizen of heaven.
As you leave, each of you will be given a ‘jewel’ as a reminder of who you really truly are.
If you are a citizen of heaven, you are rich beyond what you can imagine.
Live that way.
Look at this jewel to remind you of your real identity.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- What part of living as a citizen of heaven are you struggling with in your life right now?
- How are you being tempted to compromise your faith?
- Who are the people who help you to live out your faith and stand strong?
- What is the jewel that you received tonight going to remind you of when you see it this week?
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