Filtering Our Words

Scripture: James, I, 2 and 3 John, Jude

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn James (the brother of Jesus), John (the Apostle) and Jude (the brother of Jesus) wrote letters to encourage Christians to lead a godly life.
  • Students will learn these letters contain advice God inspired the writers to give on living a Christian life.
  • Students will learn God wants us to follow the advice contained in these books on how to live a Christian life.
  • Students will create a poster that reminds them of the words/phrases they should “filter out” of their mind and right words/phrases they should “filter in” to their mind.

Guiding Question: How does the way we speak have an effect on our Christian life?

Materials: Large colored cardstock, coffee filters, pens, markers, glue dots

Procedure: Review the purpose of the letters from James, John, and Jude. Highlight that the letters were meant as encouragement for Christians and as a source of Godly advice. Reiterate that God wants us to use the advice in the Bible when we are trying to live a Christian life and handle troublesome situations. Ask the students if they have ever thought about how the way they speak can have an effect on their Christian life and even how it could influence others.

Explain that when you speak kindly to others, use a nice tone of voice, and build others up with encouraging words, you are imitating God and therefore working to strengthen your Christian life. When you use curse words, are rude to others, and say unkind things, you are not speaking the way God wants you too and could even influence others to do the same. We want to influence others to imitate God, not the other way around.

Give each student a piece of cardstock, a coffee filter, and glue dots. Have the students draw their “brain” at the top, then use glue dots to  glue filter below it and draw their mouth below their filter. Have the students draw an arrow from the filter away from the head they’ve just drawn where they will list all the types of words the verses in James chapter 3 would suggest they should filter out and not say. Then have them draw an arrow to the mouth from the filter where students should list all of the words God would want them to say. (Remind students not to write specific curse words)

Additional Questions: How can we turn to the Bible to give others advice?
Supplemental Activity: Have students partner up and come up with difficult situations they may face in life and a piece of advice found in the letters from James, John, and Jude that applies to it. Have the partner pair re-enact the situation – one sharing the difficult situation and the other giving the student advice that includes the advice found in the letters.

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