Upper Elementary

No Surprises

Lesson 6 


Summer 2019


By: Jenn Joshua 


July 07, 2019

Lesson Focus:

God is big enough to handle our honesty.

Bible Basis:

Job 23:10-11; 40:3-4; 42:2-5

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

In order to introduce the lesson topic, students will talk about the challenges of honesty and watch a short video about letters children have written to God.

Memory Verse:

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him. —Psalm 62:8

Step 1:

In order to introduce the lesson topic, students will talk about the challenges of honesty and watch a short video about letters children have written to God.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Everyone’s probably heard the phrase “honesty is the best policy,” but being honest isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes we find it easier not to talk about difficult or challenging things—not because we’re trying to lie, but because the subject is painful or uncomfortable  or we think we’ll be judged for some reason. We just don’t want to talk about it.

  • What do you think “honesty is the best policy” means? (Answers may vary.)
  • Have you ever chosen not to talk about something because it was embarrassing, hurtful, or upsetting? (Be prepared to share your own examples.)
  • Have you ever been surprised by what you heard when someone was honest with you? What happened? (Give one or two students the opportunity to share.)

Just because something is true doesn’t necessarily mean we need to talk about it. Some things are true but hurtful or unpleasant; other things we just don’t talk about because we are being polite. Of course, young kids often don’t have this kind of filter. In the video you’re about to watch, the kids are very, very honest with God!

Play this video for the students [3:49]:
Letters to God from Children

The examples in that video were funny, but in real life it can be hard to be honest. Sometimes, it might even seem like we don’t have anyone we can talk to.

  • Is anyone willing to share about a time when you wanted to tell someone how you felt, but didn’t think you could trust them? (Students may need prompting to share by you leading out with your own experience but be sure over-sharing of names and details does not occur.)

Honesty can be challenging, but there’s one Person we can always be honest with. Today’s lesson is an extreme example to teach us exactly why.

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
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock printouts of box template (1 per student; template here)
  • Tape or glue
  • Small square of cardstock that can fit into the assembled box (1 per student)
  • Pens/pencils
  • Optional: Stickers

Before the lesson, print out enough of the gift box templates on cardstock so that each student has one (you may want to print extras for examples or mistakes). The template can be found here. If time is an issue, you may want to cut out the templates ahead of time. Making a sample and scoring the fold lines can also save time. A guide to construction can be found here:

Gift Box

As students are finishing their activities from the last step, bring their attention back to the lesson focus. Even when it seems like our problems are insurmountable, we should remember that they are not too big for God. No matter how difficult things might seem, we can always be completely honest with God.

In this short video, kids tell secrets that their parents don’t know—without realizing that their parent is sitting right there!

Play video for the students [1:32]:
Watch Kids Say Brutally Honest Things To Their Parents Who Are in Disguise

  • These videos only show the kids’ reactions, not the parents’. How do you think your parents would react in this kind of situation? (Possible answers: amused, upset, concerned.)

Think about it this way: whatever your issue, God already knows all about it! There’s nothing you could say that would ever surprise God or catch God by surprise. Distribute supplies and demonstrate how to construct the box.

Give each student a small square of cardstock cut to fit inside the assembled box. Ask your students to think of something they have been holding back from God—something that has been uncomfortable for them to share. It might be something they feel God did or didn’t do that upset  them. Ask them to write a symbol on the square of cardstock—something that symbolizes that situation that only they would recognize and place it in the box. The only thing God’s waiting for is for you to come to Him for help. During the next week, use the symbol in this box as your reminder to talk to God about that situation. Even though no one else knows what your symbol stands for, God already knows! You won’t shock Him—He wants to talk to you about it! Any time you have a sensitive issue, write down or symbolize your honest prayer on a slip of paper and add it to this box until you have a chance to talk to Him.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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