Prejudice, bias, racism….the list goes on and on. I doubt anyone would argue that God approves of treating some people more poorly than others. A quick scan of James chapter two and other New Testament passages makes that clear.
The trickier part is helping your students realize if they are unknowingly treating some people better than others, if not in overt ways, by their attitudes. There is a fun activity you can do that can open some eyes and be the beginning of a meaningful discussion on the topic.
Before your Bible class, find photos of several people you know. It usually works best if your students don’t know them at all. For fun, you might want to add a photo of someone at church who has some adventures in their past your students would never guess or probably know. If possible, choose a wide variety of people with very different appearances. What physical differences you choose may be based on whether or not you want to discuss the topic in general or be more specific in a discussion about ageism, for example.
Hold up the photos one at a time. Have students tell you everything they “know” about the person. If they focus on external appearances, you may want to prompt them to make guesses about likes and dislikes, personality traits etc. You can make this exercise more difficult by choosing photos that would perhaps confuse them, like having a photo of a doctor planting flowers in the garden.
After students believe they have accurately described everyone, reveal the truth about the person. The activity should be a great start to talking about various passages in the Bible about favoritism or even some Bible stories when people were not necessarily who they appeared to be. Depending on your students, you can also have them draw a self portrait. They can then add words or drawings to illustrate things about them which no one would know just by looking at them. Sharing their finished drawings is a way for students to share their hearts with each other. It can help them grow closer as they reveal themselves to one another. Regardless, the activity is important to help students examine their own hearts for prejudice, bias and more.