Middle School

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Lesson 5 

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Summer 2020

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By: George Halitzka 

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July 05, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Always be honest.

Bible Basis:

Exodus 20:16; John 8:44; Matthew 26:31-35, 56b; Luke 22:54-62

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will be reminded that while everybody lies sometimes, God calls us to a higher standard.

Memory Verse:

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
—Ephesians 4:25

Step 1:

Students will be reminded that while everybody lies sometimes, God calls us to a higher standard.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

I have some bad news for you. It’s really bad. It’s so bad that it may ruin your life. So bad you’ll never be the same again. Here it is: you’re a liar. A liar, liar, pants on fire! 

Nothing personal—lying is a natural human trait. You’ve probably told some whoppers in the past. You remember when you said you loved your friend’s haircut . . . even though it made him look like a werewolf? Or when you told your sister you didn’t eat the last cookie but really, you ate the last six?

  • I want you to think of a lie you’ve told recently. I won’t embarrass you by asking what it was. But without telling us the gruesome details, can you remember why you fibbed? (Help the students realize that we tell lies when we think it will be to our advantage in some way.)

Now, I have some news even worse than you being a liar—here it is: Everyone you know is a liar, too.

All of us lie to make ourselves look good, or to get something we want. But all of us hate being lied to. I mean, do you like it when your friend tells you a whopper? How do you feel when your sister lies to your face?

  • I want you to think of a lie someone told you Can you remember how you felt when you figured out the person wasn’t being honest with you? (Help the students realize that we often feel betrayed, hurt, and/ or angry when people deceive us.)

Okay, so we know that everybody lies. We also know that it feels terrible when somebody isn’t honest with you. So wouldn’t it be great if you could tell when your friends were fibbing? That way, you’d never be fooled again! Let’s check out this short video that shows some of the signs that a person may not be speaking the truth.

Share the following video with your students [5:24: stop at 3:36].
How To Tell If Someone Is Lying To You 

  • Do you think the ideas in this video will help you spot liars? Why or why not? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

Sadly, the signs of lying in the video can be hard to spot in real life. Plus, they aren’t foolproof. A someone might look away when they’re talking to you because they’re lying . . . or because they’re uncomfortable with eye contact. Even if you were a lie detection expert, you wouldn’t be foolproof. There’s no way to be positive that someone is telling you the truth.

It’s natural to lie. As Christians, though, God calls us to a higher standard. That’s why God wants the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Let’s explore what the Bible says about honesty.

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
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Pens/pencils

If you are meeting as a group in a building, write today’s memory verse (Ephesians 4:25) on the whiteboard before you begin Step 4. If your meeting is online, create a slide of the memory verse or write it in a Word document and share your screen.

We learned a disturbing fact at the beginning of our lesson: you’re a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. So am I. So is every other human being.

But God calls Christians to a higher standard! Honesty is not an easy thing—sometimes, it’s extremely difficult. But the Lord expects the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Why? Because lies can seriously damage—sometimes even destroy—relationships. On the other hand, the truth will improve our relationships in the long run, even when it’s hard at the time.

  • I’m sure all of us have experienced bad things that happened when we lied. But have you ever experienced good things because you told the truth—even though it was difficult at the time? (As the teacher, begin by sharing your own story—if possible, something that happened when you were a teen. Emphasize that while telling the truth may be difficult, it will often pay off in the long run.)

There is one way to cut down on the lying in the world that is 100% effective: It’s when you personally make a commitment to tell the truth. You can’t control the honesty of other people . . . but you can control your own.

Give each student an index card and a pen or pencil.

Read the memory verse aloud. Begin by writing today’s memory verse at the top of your card.

At the bottom of your paper, I want you to write down one relationship in your life where lies can be a problem. Dishonesty can seriously damage, and sometimes even destroy, our friendships. Where is dishonesty a problem for you? 

Maybe you’re frequently tempted to fib to your Mom. Maybe you tell your friends lies to try to impress them. Maybe you lie to a teacher because you think you can get away with it. What relationship in your life is being damaged by lies? Write the person’s name at the bottom of your paper. Give your students a minute or two to think about where they most need to exercise honesty.

Challenge your students to commit to tell this person the truth at all times this week. Maybe they will need to apologize for the lies they’ve told in the past. Urge them to start right now with a clean slate of truthfulness.

  • Think of the of the person whose name you wrote down on your card. Why is it so important for you to be honest with that person? (As the teacher, share your own response first. Try to emphasize the way that lies can damage a relationship, but the truth can restore it. Don’t require any students to speak up if they’re not comfortable doing so.)

The truth may make life harder right now. But it can strengthen your relationship in the long run. Don’t let your pants catch on fire! Instead, honor God with your honesty in this relationship all week long.

Close in prayer.

Take time this week to text or e-mail each student in your group. Check to see how the week is going. Be encouraging about not lying to the person written on a card. Remind a student that it isn’t too late to start over again with telling the truth if he or she has slipped back into lying to the person on the card.

Spread the word

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