High School

Wait Training

Lesson 6 


Fall 2019


By: Caroline Ferdinandsen 


October 06, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Let’s think before we speak.

Bible Basis:

Judges 11

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will discuss what happens when athletes make big promises that they might not be able to keep.

Memory Verse:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
—Psalm 19:14

Step 1:

Students will discuss what happens when athletes make big promises that they might not be able to keep.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Have you ever said something “in the moment” and then wished you had thought a little harder before you said it? Athletes are praised for talking trash before a competition, but most of the time it’s best if they just kept quiet.

In the 2003 NFC Wild Card Playoff between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, Matt Hasselback’s words were captured over the PA system as his team won the coin toss: “We’ll take the ball, and we’re gonna score.” Hasselback was partly right—one of his passes did lead to a score. His pass was intercepted by the Packers who took it all the way for a touchdown and the game win. Matt Hasselback was seen thumping himself in the head as he walked off the field while the commentator said, “Many of the headlines will talk about what he said at the coin toss.”

  • It’s football season and everybody loves to talk a big game. What’s the most outrageous promise you’ve heard a player make? (Let students share appropriate responses.)
  • Are any of you impulsive with what you say? Why is it so hard sometimes to think before we speak? (Sometimes we want to seem important or clever in front of a group. Other times we just don’t have a filter for what we’re spontaneously thinking. And still other times we might get angry or frustrated and this makes us “snap.”)
  • Keeping a promise is much, much harder than making one. Has anyone been promised something and then realized it was not going to happen? How did that make you feel? (Answers will vary. It is common to feel jaded, dismissed, disappointed, and even cynical when others habitually break their promises to us.)
  • The digital world has made impulse control even harder. Have you ever sent a text that you couldn’t retrieve later? Why are digital and voice messages even harder to deal with? (When we use a digital device to send a message, there is a record of what we said. When someone can revisit the offense, it becomes even harder to make amends.)

It’s easy to say something stupid in the moment, but it can hurt those around us. Instead, God wants us to be men and women of our word. Let’s read about someone who paid a heavy price for making a rash vow.

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:

  • Poster board and marker
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils
  • Optional: Whiteboard and marker

We can hit rewind during a Netflix movie, or delete the sentence we just wrote. But it’s much harder to retract our promises. Instead, it’s best to think through our words before we speak. We’re going to learn a quick method for testing the motives and intentions behind our words.

Hand out index cards and writing utensils. Create a sign (either on a piece of poster board or written on a whiteboard) that contains the following capital letters: W. A. I. T. Write each part of this acronym as you discuss the concept behind each word. Students can copy the four words on an index card to keep for themselves.

W =      Wisdom. Is this promise or claim wise?
A =       Advice.  Have I asked other people for advice on this issue?
I =        Intention. Why do I want this so bad? What is my motive?
T =       Timing. Is this the right time to make a promise? Is there a better time to act?

Depending on the size of your class, divide your students in groups of 3-4. Provide each group with one of the following scenarios, prompting groups to apply the WAIT method to their assigned situation.

Each of these scenarios is a situation where someone might be tempted to make a rash promise. Each group will be given one scenario. Applying the four strategies in the WAIT acronym, discuss with your group members how you might approach the situation with caution.

Scenario #1: You just met a guy (or girl) at school this year and you are crazy about each other. You think you’re ready to date seriously—and you’d like to express how quickly you’ve fallen in love. What should you do?

Scenario #2: Your friend’s relative wants to hire you to do some work at her small business, and she wants an answer right away. You are really busy this semester with other obligations, but you could use the money. How should you proceed?

Scenario #3: You promised your mom that you would be available to tutor your little sister every Tuesday after school. But now your best friend wants you to join a club that meets at the same time. What should you do?

Once your small groups have had time to discuss, use these questions to bring the group together.

  • Which group would like to share? What strategies did you apply to your scenario? (Encourage one or more groups to share their insights.)
  • Do you think these WAIT strategies might help you process your responses in your own situations? Why or why not?
  • Let’s say we do mess up and break a promise. What then? (Approaching the situation with humility, asking forgiveness, making amends, and learning from our mistakes can help.)

Even adults struggle to control their impulses, especially when we want something really bad. But we should always consider the consequences of making quick promises. Take your WAIT card home as a reminder to use good, sound judgment before you speak.


Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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