As odd as it may sound, many Christian teens believe they haven’t been taught application principles from Bible stories. They believe they know the facts of the story, but have no idea what God wanted them to learn from them.
It’s not because Bible class curricula don’t include application principles in their lesson plans. Most do, with some spending an entire segment of the lesson on applying the principles from a Bible story to their lives.
Young people are still somehow missing that connection between the application activity and the original Bible story. Teaching them how to identify the commands and principles within a Bible story will allow them to make these connections independently.
Teaching young people how to identify application principles is relatively simple. Encourage them to ask themselves the following questions after reading any story in the Bible.
- Why do you think God put this story in the Bible? The Bible tells us there were many other stories that could have been included, but weren’t. There was some reason God chose to include each story. What are some logical reasons God might have had for including this particular story in the Bible?
- What does God want us to learn from this story? If God included a story in the Bible, He must think it has some sort of educational value for His people.
- Does this passage include an account of someone mentioning a particular command God gave or a godly principle? In some Bible stories, the lesson God wants us to learn is clearly stated.
- Does anything in this Bible story remind you of other Bible stories or scriptures? These connections can give young people additional clues about the application principles of the original Bible story.
- Is there anything in this Bible story that reminds you of something in your own world? God’s principles are for all times and places. It’s important to help students connect something from their own lives to the godly principle in the Bible story.
- Is there anything in this story that makes you think of changes you may need to make in your thoughts, attitudes, words or actions to be more like God wants you to be? Application principles won’t help young people if they don’t know how to analyze their current choices in light of what God wants them to do and make any necessary changes.
Teaching your Bible students how to find and apply application principles in Bible stories is a critical Christian life skill. It will take instruction and practice over a period of time for your Bible students to be able to do it comfortably without adult assistance. It’s worth addressing it regularly in your Bible class.