David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Forgive as God Forgave

Lesson 10 

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Spring 2022

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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May 15, 2022

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Lesson Focus:

Forgiveness tears down walls between people.

Bible Basis:

Genesis 33:1-11

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils

Summary & Links:

Students will see firsthand how forgiveness tears down walls between people.

Memory Verse:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
—Colossians 3:13

Step 1:

Students will see firsthand how forgiveness tears down walls between people.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring index cards and pens/pencils to class.

As students arrive, hand out supplies and have them make a list of people and instances where they remember experiencing forgiveness in their lives. Give them some examples: a teacher who showed grace and allowed more time for an assignment when you were struggling with something in your personal life, a coach who allowed you to play even when you missed practice, a friend who included you in his or her birthday celebrations even though you had a disagreement the weekend before.

Give students a few moments to write about these people who showed forgiveness and also about the reasons they needed to ask forgiveness. Don’t call on students as some of their memories related to this topic may be private but allow a few minutes for any volunteers who want to share what they wrote about. If possible, relate a story about when you were forgiven as well. It is always helpful for students to see that their teachers are vulnerable and share some of the same struggles as they do.

The Rwandan Genocide happened in the African country of Rwanda in 1994. The Rwandans of the Hutu ethnicity committed the genocide against the people of Tutsi ethnicity.

Share the following 6-minute audio clip with your students:
After the Genocide, Author Witnessed How Rwandans Defined Forgiveness

The Rwandan genocide was deeply tragic. Innocent people were killed and persecuted. The whole trajectory of a country and its people changed as a result. 

  • Why do you think so many people in Rwanda are choosing to walk in forgiveness for horrific events that impacted them deeply? (Answers will vary. Accept all reasonable responses.) 
  • If you were in the same situation, do you think you would be able to forgive? Why or why not? (Answers will vary. Allow students to share their hones feelings without judgment.)

Forgiving people who hurt or abuse you is not easy. Today we’re going to talk about two brothers and how one forgave the other even after being seriously wronged by him.

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

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring index cards and pens/pencils to class.

Esau and Jacob had many reasons to be suspicious of one another. Trickery was how they lived out their young lives and competition between them for the affection of their parents was how they functioned. Jacob feared for his life when meeting up with Esau as an adult and thought he would need to bribe Esau with gifts to get in his good graces. What Esau showed instead of anger and jealousy was forgiveness—and it tore down the wall between them.

Hand out new index cards (or invite students to have those items ready at home) as you invite students to think about one person or a circumstance in their life where unforgiveness may still be a problem. Have them write about it on their card.

Have students look at today’s memory verse on page 8 of The Rock or in their Bibles. Say the verse together out loud. “Bear with one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).

Have students write their memory verse somewhere on their index cards. Forgiveness is not easy. The reminder that we are to forgive others as the Lord forgave us can help us in our struggle. Jesus has taken our punishment on Himself and died in our place. When we look at the wrongs done to us with this truth as our guide it should make forgiving others easier. It takes time, however, to forgive. Remind students that they don’t have to rush into this process but that you do want them to consider what forgiveness would look like for them this week.

Walls can easily be built but tearing them down is often much harder. Prayer is a big part of this forgiveness process and remembering how much we have been forgiven also helps. Have your students think of their schedule this week and write down a specific time on their index cards when they will pray about the forgiveness process in the situation they listed on their cards.

Close in prayer thanking Jesus for what He did for us and the walls that have been torn down because of His death and His resurrection.

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