Middle School

What’s Your Motive?

Lesson 10 

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Spring 2020

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By: Kelsey Grulke 

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May 24, 2020

Lesson Focus:

What’s your motive?

Bible Basis:

Acts 8:5-25

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about things people are doing during the pandemic as they explore motivation behind doing things for others.

Memory Verse:

You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives.
—James 4:2b-3a

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about things people are doing during the pandemic as they explore motivation behind doing things for others.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Welcome your students and check in on their week. Begin the class by asking everyone to share one thing they did for someone else this week.

  • Why did you do that nice thing? (Answers will vary. Maybe their parents forced them to. Maybe they just wanted to. Maybe they feel like they were supposed to. Maybe they hoped they would get paid.)
  • What are some good reasons to do nice things for others? (I’m honoring my parents, God wants me to, it helps others, to show Jesus’ love to others, etc.)
  • Are there bad reasons to do good things? What are they? (Secretly hoping they will do something nice for me, I’ll get something out of it, I have to, etc.) 
  • Let’s watch a video of how some people in Canada are doing good during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Share this video [3:03]:
All alone, together: Helping each other during COVID-19

  • What are some possible motives for these people’s actions? (Answers will vary. These people have different motives for the good they have done. Some may be trying to honor God, some might want positive attention, others might like the feeling they get when they do good.)

Sometimes our motives are good, other times they’re not. Sometimes other people know or can guess our motives, other times only God knows. We’re not the only ones. Our Bible story today teaches us about someone who had bad motives. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about acting with bad motives.

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
  • Paper
  • Drawing supplies (pens/pencils, markers, colored pencils, crayons)

Ask someone to read today’s memory verse.

Our verse reminds us that God cares not only about what we do, but about why we do it. Our “why,” or motive, is important. Let’s watch this short film about a girl losing her “why” and finding it again.

Share this video [6:14]:
Motivational Film- Award Winning Animated Short Film- Alyce Tzue

  • Although the movie doesn’t specifically say it, what do you imagine the girl’s original motive was for flying and fixing her plane? (Before the little guy showed up, she was just doing it for her hobby.)
  • Why do you think she lost her motivation? (Accept all reasonable answers. These might include: She got bored, she was discouraged, she lost interest, no one was there to help motivate her, etc.) 
  • In this case, it doesn’t look like her motives were bad, but they weren’t enough to last. In most circumstances in our lives, our motives won’t be as bad as Simon the sorcerer’s, but they might not last.
  • What did it take to motivate her long-term? (Helping someone else.)
  • Did she have immediate success once she was working to help someone else? (No, it took a few tries to get the little guy’s plane in the air.)
  • Did she know the full story of the little guy and his important mission? (Probably not, she was just helping because she saw someone in need.)
  • Do we always know the full story when we choose to help someone? (No, we might not ever know if our help does any good.)
  • What can we learn from this video about our motives? (Helping others is a powerful motive. In helping someone else, we might be doing more good than we could ever know.)

On top of the motivation to do good and help others, as Christians, our motives must ultimately be God’s glory. We help others for God’s glory. We go to church for God’s glory. Focusing on God’s glory can help you stay motivated to help others.

Make sure all your middle schoolers have a sheet of paper and some drawing tools and ask them to draw or write a way they commit to help others this week, for God’s glory. Ask them to include somewhere on their paper a reminder that our motive should always be God’s glory. This could be as simple as writing it somewhere on the sheet or as creative as your students like. If you are gathering virtually, ask your students to snap a picture of their drawing and send it to you so you can share them with the whole class. Ask your class to keep their drawings visible this week as a reminder of their commitment to let God’s glory motivate all they do.

End in prayer, asking for God to renew your hearts and minds and motives so that each of you can do good, for God’s glory.

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