High School

Choosing Sides

Lesson 11 


Fall 2019


By: Jill Meek  


November 10, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Don’t choose the losing side.

Bible Basis:

1 Kings 18:21, 25-26, 31-34, 36-39

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about teaching a self-driving car how to make decisions as they consider how they choose the side of right vs. wrong.

Memory Verse:

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
—Psalm 97:10

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about teaching a self-driving car how to make decisions as they consider how they choose the side of right vs. wrong.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Sometimes knowing right vs. wrong is easy, sometimes it is complicated, and sometimes we make it more difficult than it should be. The self-driving car dilemma is a modern-day example to illustrate the complexities of ethical decision-making. Let’s watch this video to learn more.

Play the following video [1:35]:
The moral dilemma of self-driving cars

Have students walk to one side of the room or another to answer the next two questions.

  • Who would buy a self-driving car knowing it would sacrifice you to save many in an unlikely emergency situation? If you would, stand to the right; if not, to the left. (Allow students to elaborate on their decision. Answers will vary.)
  • If you were programming these cars, would you program it to sacrifice the passenger to save many, if necessary? If yes, stand to the right; if not, to the left. (Allow students to elaborate on why they would make the decision they chose. Answers will vary.)

Allow your students to be seated. Moral dilemmas such as those are usually difficult to answer. In part, this is due to the variables that can be involved. For instance, would it be more difficult to decide what to do if your mom or baby brother or sister were your passengers and you had to sacrifice them in order to avoid hitting a chain-gang of prisoners working on the side of the road?

  • If you find this question difficult, what are some other clear-cut examples of right vs. wrong? (Accept all reasonable answers. In general, students may understand that harming others in any way is wrong and that honesty, generosity, and kindness are right.)
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you knew what was right, but chose to do wrong? What influenced your choice? (Answers will vary. Allow students to disclose as much or little as they feel comfortable with. Choosing wrong when you know right is often the choice of doing what is easier, more fun, or going with the crowd to be included.)
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you chose right over wrong but you were in the minority? What was that like? (Answers will vary. Students may have had to abstain from something, missing out on friendships or experiences, or feeling unsupported or misunderstood. Others may have had a more neutral or positive experience, feeling good about their decision or seeing positive consequences of their choice vs. the wrong one.)

Every day we choose how to live based on what we think is right and wrong, or at the very least what is better or worse. We also have to choose whose voices will help us discern that.

Today we will see an example of knowing the right thing to do but listening to the wrong voices and watching it result in destruction. We’ll also see an example of someone demonstrating the right choice even though it was the minority opinion. Let’s dig in.

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
  • Pens/pencils

Maybe today you are like Ahab, choosing whether to trust and worship God or something else. What would it take to convince you that following God is the right choice? What makes you wonder or worry that it is the wrong choice? (Don’t put any pressure on students to answer if this applies to them. However, if it does apply and students are willing to answer, allow them to do so. This could help doubting students to know they are safe to share their doubts here and committed Christians may learn something about how to best listen and witness.)

Maybe you already chose to trust and follow God. You still have to make choices every day about how to live based on what is right and wrong.

  • What choices do Christians have to make when following God? (Accept all reasonable answers. Christians face mostly the same choices as anyone else—what we will or won’t eat, drink, buy, use, wear, say, do, listen to, commit to, or support. Sometimes we will be very convicted about a particular issue or action. Sometimes our choices will be different than others.)
  • Who should Christians listen to when making choices about right vs. wrong? (Accept all reasonable answers. Scripture is the absolute source. Church tradition and present-day Christian teaching can help. God also speaks to us through prayer and the Holy Spirit, and can use family, friends, and other sources to help us know the truth.)
  • What situation do you find it hardest to know right vs. wrong? (Answers will vary. Accept all reasonable answers. Some issues are complicated. Assure your students that sometimes even Christians disagree.)
  • What situation do you find is hardest to choose right vs. wrong? (Answers will vary. Accept all reasonable answers. Sometimes the right thing seems boring or hard or lonely, or the wrong thing seems fun or easy, or you think “what’s the harm?”.)

Hand out index cards and pens or pencils. Have your teens think about the place where they get stuck—whether it is to trust God in the first place, or to discern the right side in a situation, or to choose the right side when it’s tough, but they know they should. Ask them to identify that challenge, or issues, or situation, and consider the two sides by writing on each side of their index card. Encourage them to explore it more this week by going on a fruit search. Like the altar to the true God produced fire—even against all odds—the right choice will always bear God’s fruit. The index card will serve as a fruit basket this week, or as long as they like. When they see God’s fruit in their situation, they should write it down, as a visual reminder that they’ve made the right choice.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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