Use this free youth group lesson to teach students the importance of often thinking about kindness in terms of a single “act of kindness” instead of a lifestyle.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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Youth Group Lesson on Kindness
Bible: Colossians 3:12; Job 6:14
Lesson Overview: We often think about kindness in terms of a single “act of kindness” instead of a lifestyle. However, the Bible tells us that we are to clothe ourselves in kindness, which goes far beyond just doing kind things for others every now and then.
Opening Game: All Wrapped Up
- Roll of gauze, tulle, or some other type of fabric that can be wrapped around like a mummy (toilet paper works well too)
Divide the group into two teams and place them on opposite sides of the room.
Have a volunteer from each team go and join the opposing team. When you say go, the teams must start wrapping the fabric around the player from the other team, making them into a sort of mummy.
They have one minute to get creative and wrap the player up the best they can so that it will be difficult to unwrap.
When time is up, the players who are wrapped up must hobble, jump, or otherwise make their way across the room where their team will try to unwrap them as fast as they can.
The first team to completely unwrap their player wins.
Teach – Kindness
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. That means if you are living the way you are supposed to be living, according to God’s Word, then kindness will be a fruit that grows out of your life.
When you think about kindness, what comes to mind? Probably an action, right? Doing something nice for someone else?
What if we stopped thinking of kindness as an action and started thinking of kindness as an entire lifestyle?
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” –
In the game we just played, you wrapped the fabric all around the player from the opposite team. Now, let me ask you—was it easy to get all of that off? No! Eventually you were able to, but you weren’t able to get rid of all the fabric instantly, because you were clothed in it.
This verse says that we are supposed to clothe ourselves with kindness. Now, when you get dressed for the day, do you just wear your clothes long enough for someone to see them before taking them off? Of course not! That would defeat the entire purpose of wearing clothes!
In the same way, kindness should not be a single action completed and then forgotten. Instead, it should be something we put on, wrapped all around us, and wear all day long.
Do you think that it’s really possible to clothe yourself in kindness and wear it all day long? Do you think it’s really possible for kindness to be something that filters into everything you do all day?
And I’m going to tell you three ways you can keep kindness wrapped around you all day: with your words, with your actions, and with your attitude.
Kindness with your words
It’s incredibly easy to be unkind with your words. Saying the first thing that comes to mind, or not taking time to think about your attitude before you speak can result in a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of regretted words.
However, it can also be incredibly easy to be kind with your words. How? By taking a little extra time to think about your words before you speak them out loud.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not. Actually, it’s pretty easy. You just need to ask yourself one question: Are these words kind?
If the answer is yes, that’s awesome. Clothe yourself in kindness with your words! If the answer is no, then just don’t say them. Think of a different way to say what you want to say, this time using kindness.
Kindness with your actions
Our actions should be kind. This may seem like a “duh” point, but ask yourself—do you take the time to think about whether or not your actions are done in kindness?
In the busyness of everyday life, kindness can quickly become something that is shoved aside in favor of convenience. Why? Because it’s just not convenient to be kind! It’s way easier to just be selfish.
So this week, as you’re going about your normal routine, take the time to purposefully make sure your actions are kind. Don’t only think about how your actions affect you, or what people think of your actions. Think about how you can exhibit kindness with your actions. And then do it!
Kindness with your attitude
This can be a tricky one. How many of you struggle with having a kind attitude all the time?
Think about it—when someone is getting on your nerves, is your attitude toward them kind? What about when someone is unkind to you? Or what about when things don’t work out the way you wanted them to—does your attitude show kindness?
There is only one person who has complete control over your attitude, and that one person is you. So take control of it! When a situation happens that makes you feel irritated, or selfish, or any other unkind emotion, take a deep breath and choose to react with kindness.
If this is something you struggle with, ask God to help you! When you feel yourself struggling to have a kind attitude, pray and ask Him to help you have more kindness is your heart and less of whatever else is going on. God loves you and wants to help you—so ask!
Job 6:14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” –
In this verse, fear doesn’t mean to cower in the corner, terrified. It means to revere, or to respect.
Here it says that withholding kindness from a friend is forsaking the fear of God. In other words, if you’re not being kind to those around you, you aren’t respecting God. That doesn’t sound too good, does it?
But that’s how important kindness is to God. It’s so important that His Word says that withholding kindness from a friend is withholding fear and respect from Him. That’s a big deal!
It’s so important to show kindness to everyone, even the people who you don’t feel like being kind to. No matter what people look like on the outside, and no matter what their life looks like from the outside, you never know what they are going through on the inside. It can never hurt to be kind to someone, but it can hurt to be unkind.
Have you ever heard the saying that “You may be the only part of Jesus that someone ever sees?” It means that there are some people in your life who may never go to church or open a Bible, so you are the only exposure to Jesus that they have.
In the same way, there may be some people in your life who think of Jesus as mean and scary, because they’ve never truly been introduced to Him. So you may be the only example of His kindness that they ever see. That’s a big responsibility!
Small Group Discussion Questions
1. What does it mean to you to clothe yourself in kindness? What are some ways you can do that?
2. Have you ever regretted not showing kindness to someone?
3. Do you think that kindness is more of an action or a lifestyle?
4. When you talk without thinking about what you’re going to say, is the result usually kind or unkind?
5. Do you take the time to think about whether or not your actions are kind? If not, is that something you want to start doing?
6. Do you think that others would describe your attitude as kind? Why or why not?
7. What are some ways that God has shown you kindness?
8. Do you think it’s possibly to live an entire lifestyle full of kindness?
9. Have you ever withheld kindness from a friend? How does it make you feel to know that the Bible says that’s like forsaking the fear of God?
10. What are some ways you can practice kindness this week?
- Four clear glasses
- One pitcher of water
Every single day, you are going to be faced with a choice: be kind, or be unkind.
Your words, your actions, and your attitude…these are all things that you’ll have to choose kindness in.
Kindness will not always be the easiest choice. In fact, sometimes kindness will be the hardest choice. But it’s right choice.
Play this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1KCzrTg9ic
While that video was playing, were you thinking of any specific person or situation?
Here’s the deal—most likely, you’re going to have a few regrets in life. You’ll make mistakes, miss opportunities, and do other things that will make your stomach hurt when you look back on them.
I’m telling you right now…don’t let a lack of kindness cause those regrets. You have no idea how much your kindness could mean to someone. It could mean just a little, or it could mean everything. But as a follower of Jesus, as an example of Jesus, it’s your responsibility to be kind.
Before we close, I want to tell you one more thing about kindness.
The more you’re kind, the easier it is to be kind. The more kindness you show to others, the easier it is for them to be kind. Kindness is contagious!
Line up the cups. Pour water into them in the following way:
Fill the first cup up almost all the way.
Fill the second cup up about a quarter of the way full.
Fill the third cup up halfway full.
Pour the fourth cup up about a quarter of the way full.
I want to show you guys an example of how kindness works. We’re going to use water as an example of kindness. Hold up the first cup. Let’s pretend this cup is you, and that you’ve chosen to clothe yourself in kindness. So when you have an interaction with someone else (hold up second cup), you choose to act in kindness, even though they don’t seem very kind.
Pour about half of the water from the first cup into the second cup, bringing the second cup to be about three-fourths full.
So you act in kindness towards them. And then, they leave. You don’t know what kind of impact your kindness had, but you know that you did what you should have by acting in kindness.
So then this person you were kind to, let’s say they bump into someone else. While their first reaction wouldn’t normally be to be kind, they were impacted by the kindness you showed them, so they decide to act in kindness.
Pour about half of the water from the second glass into the third glass, bringing the glass almost all the way full.
Now this person (hold up the third glass) is just brimming with kindness because of their interaction with the person that you were kind to. So what happens when they see someone (hold up the fourth glass) who seems to be completely empty of kindness, they don’t even think twice—they just act in kindness!
Pour until the fourth glass is almost full.
See how all the cups have water in them now? It’s the same with kindness…it just spreads and spreads, and the more you give of it (pour fourth glass back into the first glass until the water overflows), the more you’re filled with it!
If you want to overflow with kindness, start acting in kindness towards others. It won’t be long until you’re so full of kindness that you just can’t contain it!
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Shop our selection of youth & children’s ministry curriculum:
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