David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

I Forgive You

Lesson 8 

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Summer 2022

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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July 24, 2022

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Lesson Focus:

We need to forgive others as God forgives us.

Bible Basis:

Matthew 18:21-35; 6:12

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will consider what makes a person suitable for forgiveness as they explore forgiving others as God has forgiven them.

Memory Verse:

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
—Mark 11:25

Step 1:

Students will consider what makes a person suitable for forgiveness as they explore forgiving others as God has forgiven them.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • What makes a person, or a person in a particular situation, “worthy of forgiveness”? (Answers will vary but may include: the person got dragged into someone else’s poor choices; the person is genuinely sorry; the person made mistakes. If anyone mentions that everyone is suitable for forgiveness all the time because of Jesus, accept but do not comment on the answer.)

A woman in Ohio, Samantha, Davis was arrested for drug possession and causing a fatal car accident that killed a woman and her daughter. At the court hearing for Samantha Davis, the victim’s family member expressed forgiveness for what Samantha had done.

Play the following video clip for your students [3:51; stop at 1:36]:
Court Cam: Late Victim’s Family Forgives Woman Who Caused Deadly Car Accident | A&E

  • What do you think went on in Everett’s mind and heart in order for him to reach the conclusion to forgive? (Possible answers may include: maybe he thought back to when he was young and would want another chance; maybe he felt joy to be alive and wanted to share that; maybe he felt the physical pain and was angry but genuinely cares about people; etc.)
  • When you are in a situation where someone has wronged you, is it easy or difficult to forgive? Explain.
  • If Samantha Davis caused another fatal car crash, do you think she would be worthy of forgiveness? Why or why not? (Students may conclude that the first time may have been an accident, but if she does it again she deserves to pay; she might deserve one more chance, but then that’s it; etc.)
  • What is your response when someone you have forgiven repeats the same behavior after you forgave him or her the first time? (Your preteens may mention getting mad; deciding not to forgive this time; giving them “three strikes you are out,” etc.)
  • After being forgiven by the victim’s family, how do you expect Davis to treat people who hurt her? (Answers will vary; hopefully she will offer forgiveness.)

Forgiving others may sound easy, but in practice it can be difficult. When we are hurt, we may want the person who offended us to pay in some way for the pain we feel. Although it can be challenging, forgiveness is a vital part of a Christian’s life. In today’s lesson, we will get some insight into the importance of forgiveness.

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:

  • Internet access
  • Printouts on cardstock of the Forgiveness Cup template (1 per student; template found here)
  • Paper or cardstock
  • Plastic cups (2 per student)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils

Before class, print out enough of the Forgiveness Cup templates (template found here) so that each student has a copy. If time is an issue, you may want to cut apart the cards and cup bands with a paper cutter rather than having your preteens cut them out by hand. (If your class is meeting online, email the template for families to print ahead of time and invite students to bring printouts and other supplies with them to class.)

Thinking back to the video we watched earlier, we do not know Everett’s personal story. It is possible that he knows what it is like to be forgiven. When we know true forgiveness, it is our responsibility to offer forgiveness to others.

Give each student two plastic cups and one printed template. Distribute tape, scissors, and pens or pencils. (If your class is meeting online, invite students to have items ready at home.)

Hold up one cup. When Jesus died for us, He paid the price for our sin. His death and resurrection assure us of forgiveness. We are going to make cups of forgiveness; we will put a red wrapper on this one to represent Jesus’ blood making a way for our forgiveness.

Hold up the other cup. Not forgiving others can wear on us spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. When we forgive others, we honor God, free others, and allow ourselves to live the full life God has for us. We will wrap the other cup in a green band to represent life—life free of the burden of holding grudges.

Instruct the students to cut out the cards and place them in the appropriate cups. The cards asking for forgiveness go in the red labeled cups. The cards offering forgiveness go in the green labeled cups.

Instruct your preteens to cut out the bands for each cup. Have them trim the ends, so the bands fit the size of the cups. Then wrap the bands around the cups and tape the ends together to secure the bands.

You may want to play this quietly while the students work [4:25]:
Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics)

We can use these cups during the week to help us get in the practice of forgiving others as God forgives us. Each day when you pray, fill out a card from the red cup. Pray about what you wrote and ask God to forgive you. Think about how freeing it is to know that God does not hold that sin against you.

Then, fill out a card from the green cup. Think about how God forgave you. How can you not forgive another person after God forgave you? Pray and ask God to help you forgive the person for what you wrote on the card. Forgive him or her.

When you are done praying, rip up and throw out the cards, leaving behind your sin and your grudge about another’s sin. Live as one who is forgiven and allow the person you forgave to live that way, too!

Lead the students through a practice using the cups of forgiveness. There are seven cards in each cup, one for each day of the week, so this will use their Sunday cards.

  • What does it feel like to be forgiven by God? (Answers will vary; allow students to express relief, freedom, etc.)
  • What does it feel like to let go of a grudge and forgive someone who offended you? (Answers will vary; some may express how difficult it is. Allow them to share freely without judgment.)

Close in a benediction: Go and forgive others the way God has forgiven you.

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