David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

Be Unselfish

Lesson 12 

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Fall 2020

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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November 22, 2020

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Lesson Focus:

Selfish motives cause us problems.

Bible Basis:

Proverbs 3:13, 17-18; James 3:13—4:4

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

In order to understand what motivates us to be selfish, your teens will look at the stark dichotomy of wealth in the world today by observing what money can buy in different countries.

Memory Verse:

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
— James 3:17

Step 1:

In order to understand what motivates us to be selfish, your teens will look at the stark dichotomy of wealth in the world today by observing what money can buy in different countries.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

A few weeks ago, the presidential elections took place—and they were expensive! Think of all the fliers, advertisements, and campaign workers needed to make a campaign run.

  • Can you guess how much money on average is spent on presidential elections? (Allow students to share their thoughts. Encourage them to avoid political talk and to be respectful.)

A presidential campaign costs hundreds of millions of dollars! Depending on how many donations a candidate receives and how much money they have, a campaign can cost close to a billion dollars!

Use the extreme cost of elections as a starting point to ask your students about their opinions on the state of wealth inequality in the world today.

  • What do you think about the enormous price tag of election campaigns? Is it necessary? (Allow a few students to share their responses to this question; accept all reasonable answers.)
  • If you decided to spend the same amount of money less frivolously, what selfless good could you do with a few hundred million dollars? (After students have shared ideas, comment that with hundreds of millions of people around the globe living on less than $2 a day, there is certainly much that could be accomplished with this money.)

Play the following clip [5:12; to conserve time, start at 1:00; end at 2:10. (At 2:12, the video shows the filmer buying a pint of beer.)]:
How POWERFUL is $1?

Using the information presented in this video, we can see that with the same amount of money used to pay for elections, countless people around the world could have plenty of food.

When stated in terms like this, it’s easy to extravagance of things like campaigns; however, when it comes down to our own lives and wallets, it can be much more difficult to live unselfishly. In today’s lesson, we’ll look at how and what can happen if we are willing to put aside our self-centered motivations.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards (1 per student)
  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)
  • Whiteboard and marker

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring pens/pencils with them to class.

Wanting to be more selfless and actually doing it can be two very different things. Our momentary wants and impulses can cloud our judgment and cause us to revert to our selfish nature. In order to combat these fleeting desires, let’s create an enduring strategy to guide our everyday actions and thoughts.

Hand out supplies. If your class is meeting online, invite students to have their index cards and pens/pencils ready.

Using a whiteboard and marker, write out the following list of action steps so your teens can copy and utilize them in their everyday lives. If your class is meeting online, copy and paste the list into a document and share your screen.

Getting Rid of Selfishness

  1. See beyond your own personal concerns
  2. Consider other people’s feelings
  3. Be selfless even if no one else knows
  4. Take pleasure in the happiness of others
  5. Model yourself on someone who is selfless
  6. Don’t value your time more than others
  7. Learn to forgive and forget
  8. Volunteer your time
  9. Donate what you can
  10. Be selfless in everyday ways 

 

Take a look at this list, thinking about which items would be the most difficult for you. Then, write those items down on your card.

If any of the actions on the list raise any questions with your class, take time to discuss them in more detail. After moving through all of the steps on the list, encourage your students to use it as a guide in the coming weeks, working through the various levels in the pursuit of living altruistically.

Challenge your students to spend time this upcoming week seeking out someone they have seen exhibit selfless behavior frequently; with this individual’s consent, use them as a role model/mentor from whom they can receive motivation toward living a more selfless life.

Close in prayer, asking God to help remove all of your selfish motives and so that you can live a more selfless life.

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring pens/pencils with them to class.

Wanting to be more selfless and actually doing it can be two very different things. Our momentary wants and impulses can cloud our judgment and cause us to revert to our selfish nature. In order to combat these fleeting desires, let’s create an enduring strategy to guide our everyday actions and thoughts.

Hand out supplies. If your class is meeting online, invite students to have their index cards and pens/pencils ready.

Using a whiteboard and marker, write out the following list of action steps so your teens can copy and utilize them in their everyday lives. If your class is meeting online, copy and paste the list into a document and share your screen.

Getting Rid of Selfishness

  1. See beyond your own personal concerns
  2. Consider other people’s feelings
  3. Be selfless even if no one else knows
  4. Take pleasure in the happiness of others
  5. Model yourself on someone who is selfless
  6. Don’t value your time more than others
  7. Learn to forgive and forget
  8. Volunteer your time
  9. Donate what you can
  10. Be selfless in everyday ways 

 

Take a look at this list, thinking about which items would be the most difficult for you. Then, write those items down on your card.

If any of the actions on the list raise any questions with your class, take time to discuss them in more detail. After moving through all of the steps on the list, encourage your students to use it as a guide in the coming weeks, working through the various levels in the pursuit of living altruistically.

Challenge your students to spend time this upcoming week seeking out someone they have seen exhibit selfless behavior frequently; with this individual’s consent, use them as a role model/mentor from whom they can receive motivation toward living a more selfless life.

Close in prayer, asking God to help remove all of your selfish motives and so that you can live a more selfless life.

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