Mistakes or Sins

Scripture: Numbers 16-17

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn that God chooses leaders for a purpose.
  • Students will learn that God does not tolerate rebellion against Him.
  • Students will learn that God will punish those who insist on rebelling against Him.
  • Students will play a game to help them begin to differentiate between innocent mistakes and sin.

Guiding Question: How can we know the difference tween mistakes and sins?

Materials: game boards and pieces, mistakes vs sins game cards

Procedure: Share with the students the story of Korah’s rebellion. Explain that sometimes people think what they are doing is right, but it is actually a sin. Tell them that sometimes people make an innocent mistake and believed they have sinned. Share with the student that it is very important for them to understand the difference between when they make a mistake and when they are sinning against God.

Ask the students if they can explain the difference between a sin and a mistake. Explain sins are when we disobey God’s commands. It is an act of rebellion. A mistake, on the other hand is when we do something that may have a negative consequence, but didn’t break any of God’s laws.

Have the students give some examples of each. (Sinning is pushing someone on purpose to hurt them. A mistake would be tripping and falling into someone and pushing them down by accident – even if they get hurt.)
Explain that sometimes it can get very complicated. For example if you accidentally knock over your glass and spill the milk, it is an accident. But if you knock over the glass of milk accidentally because you didn’t obey your mother and move, then that is the sin of disobedience help the students understand that the consequences of our actions – positive or negative – are not always the best way to determine if we sinned or just made and innocent mistake.

Divide the students into small groups and have them play the board game, “Mistake of Sin”. (For younger students who cannot read, you can read the cards and each group an have players move their pieces accordingly.)

Additional Questions:

  • What are some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if you sinned or just make a mistake?

Supplemental Activity: Have the students analyze the scenarios in the “Mistake or Sin” game. What questions could one ask in any similar situation that will help you decide if you have sinned or just made a mistake?

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