High School

Coming Clean!

Lesson 9 

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Fall 2019

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By: Cheri Gillard 

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October 27, 2019

Lesson Focus:

We should always admit when we are wrong.

Bible Basis:

2 Samuel 12:1-10, 13

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Teens will watch a video about people telling lies as they explore the lesson focus of always admitting when we are wrong.

Memory Verse:

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . .
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
—Psalm 51:10, 13

Step 1:

Teens will watch a video about people telling lies as they explore the lesson focus of always admitting when we are wrong.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Paul Ekman is a psychologist and professor who is an expert in reading emotions expressed in facial expressions and “tells” in nonverbal body language which expose whether or not a person is lying. He can watch a crime suspect being interrogated and, by determining the unspoken emotions and reactions of the suspect, can spot the lies told by the accused. The TV show Lie to Me is based on Ekman’s work in helping detectives solve crimes.

Show this clip to your students [3:52]:
Lie to me! S01E01 Opening Scene

Let’s see how well you can distinguish truth from lies. Have everyone get a partner. We’re going to play “two truths and a lie.” Take turns telling each other three supposed facts about yourself, but only use truthful facts for two of them. Make up one “fact” that is a lie. Mix them up so your partner won’t know which is the lie. Watch your partner closely for “tells” that will give away their lies, then guess which one of the three “facts” is the lie. Give your teens an opportunity to do this. Take a random poll at the end to find out how many were able to discern the truth from a lie.

  • What are some lies we hear or say (or write) that we wouldn’t want others to find out are untrue? (Answers might include: Social media posts showing that we’re happy and popular. Telling a friend they look great even when we don’t think so. Leaving out details our parents may not like.)
  • Why do we lie? (Answers will vary. They may include: to keep from hurting others, to avoid punishment or consequences, because it’s too difficult to be honest with ourselves.)

Sometimes, we tell little lies (or white lies) without even thinking about it. Other times, we might tell big whoppers, knowing full well what we’re doing, but we go ahead because it seems too scary or dangerous to tell the truth. But not being honest causes damage to us and others, and especially with our relationship with God. God wants us to be truthful and will even help us deal with the consequences of lies. Today, we will learn about the importance of honesty and consider some of the consequences of lies and hiding from the truth.

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:

  • Whiteboard and marker
  • Paper
  • Pens/pencils

Looking honestly at ourselves and our sin can be difficult. We feel as if so much will be threatened if we admit unpleasant, hidden truths about ourselves. We often fear that if the truth about us is made public, we might lose love, acceptance, or respect from other people. Some of these fears may actually be legitimate concerns. Or we might not want to face the truth about ourselves because it is too painful to know. It can be scary to realize things about ourselves that feel too bad to admit. Yet that isn’t enough reason for us to carry the guilt alone without the freedom and relief God’s forgiveness brings.

Before David could repent before the Lord and ask for forgiveness, he had to admit to himself and to Nathan the sins he had committed.

On the whiteboard, make two columns. Label the first as “David” and the second as “Us”

Let’s consider and list the fears that might have made David hide his sin.

  • What do you think could have kept him from coming clean? (List the students’ answers on the board in the “David” column. Answers might include embarrassment, humiliation, regret, self-loathing, loss of respect for himself or from others, God’s anger, rebellion among troops.)

Sometimes we have fears that keep us from coming clean for our own wrongs. Think about what could keep you from confessing a sin.

  • What fears can keep you from admitting doing something wrong to yourself, your friends or parents, or to God? (Answers will vary. Record your students’ answers on the board in the appropriate column.)

We’ve listed several reasons we might keep a sin a secret. It can feel like a lot is at stake. But if we can’t be honest with ourselves, or be honest with God, we are left carrying the burden of sin on our own. The darkness of sin, the guilt or regret, can eat away at us. Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 1:9. God’s forgiveness is a gift. All we must do is ask for it.

Hand out paper and pens/pencils. Allow students to find a spot in the room where they can concentrate privately. On your paper, write your own personal reasons that keep you from asking God for forgiveness. If a particular sin is coming to mind, try to dig down and identify what specifically is stopping you. If you find it hard to be honest with yourself, you can ask God to show you how. If you have trouble telling God about yourself, ask Him to guide you as you try.

Challenge your students to take their papers home and revisit this issue with God during the week. For each reason they listed that is keeping them from asking God for forgiveness, assure them that God knows all the details and is not offended when we talk to Him about anything. Telling God they are having trouble asking for forgiveness is a perfect first step to opening the lines of communication.

Close by praying a portion of the memory verse over the entire class: “Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.” Then, thank God for His mercy and love, and for the fact that when we confess our sins, He faithfully cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

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