Good evening all!
So tonight I wanted to share with you what I'm currently teaching my middle school girls in Sunday School. I think it is such an important topic for all of us to learn more about and spend time on. I'm creating my lessons as I go through the book entitled, The Peacemaker: student edition - Handling conflict without fighting back or running away by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson (click this link to head over to Amazon and read about this book in more detail!). This book is separated into what the authors call, "The four G's of peacemaking." We've already gone through the first G, which covers how peacemaking is the most appropriate way to glorify God when dealing with conflict. This section was a bit abstract for the girls and it was obvious that they were having a difficult time relating actual conflicts they may encounter with the fact that having perfect unity and promoting peace is the best way to reveal to others the reality of Christ's love for us. But the 2nd G is much more practical and gives straight forward strategies on how to approach peacemaking in daily life. I am super excited about this section and plan to make it as interactive as possible (the girls never sit still, and love to talk!). I created a worksheet for today's first method of peacemaking, which the authors call "Overlooking." In our discussion this morning, we decided that another term for overlooking, would be forgiving. My worksheet follows.
I started off with a review (above) of the more abstract concepts we had covered previously.
Then, I introduced the 2nd G (above) by getting the girls to analyze the passage from Matthew where Jesus tells us that we must take the plank out of our own eye before telling others about the speck in theirs. When I asked the girls what image came to their mind after hearing this passage, they all responded with wonderful spiritual answers. I was just looking for a literal image of a person with a giant stick coming out of his eye lol. They really are wonderful thinkers when they put their minds to it!
Finally, we began to cover the practical peacemaking method of overlooking (above).
For "homework," I asked the girls to come up with things that frustrate them about other people but that they could easily overlook/forgive if they made the effort. I told them not to consider things that were legitimately wrong, but instead, things people do, that if we did, and had excuses for, we would not want others to call us out on. In other words, God does not treat us harshly for every little mistake we make. In fact, He sent His Son to die for our sins on the cross so that all of our mistakes and sins would be forgiven!! Hopefully, next week I'll get some good lists from the girls of things that they can overlook, and we can dig deeper into how each of us (including myself) can better practically conquer the task of peacemaking!
Just a few notes on why I love this book. There are a number of great example stories in this book that are easy and fun to tell and brilliantly illustrate the concepts being presented. Additionally, all of the Bible verses referenced above are provided in the book. In other words, this is a Biblically centered book that provides practical ideas for living a Christ-like life.
I'll update next week on how it goes.
Btw, feel free to use any parts of my worksheet if you feel it would be useful :-)