The Bible has a lot to say about how to see others and yourself. First Samuel 16:7 can be used in the Sunday school lesson to show kids that God does not care about appearance, popularity or financial situation; God only cares about the heart and loving others regardless of material things. Children, like many adults, have self-esteem issues and teaching kids about good self-esteem is essential to their spiritual growth. What is the definition of self-esteem? Simply put it is the confidence one has in his own worth, abilities, or self-respect. In this lesson the children will learn to be obedient to the Lord, make good choices and not worry about what others think of them.
Display the verse, 1 Samuel 16:7, on a chalkboard, whiteboard or Power Point presentation. Use the Bible translation that best suits your church. Read the verse aloud together. The NIV version reads, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Have a class discussion. Instruct the children to raise a hand to be called on.
Ask the children the following questions and discuss their answers. How many of you care what others think about you? Why?
Have you ever based who you hang out with on how a person looks?
Has anyone left you out of their group because you were not “cool enough”? How does it make you feel to be left out? Talk about how it hurts to be left out, and make a point that leaving others out hurts them. Do you really want to hurt others?
Take out the banana that has been prepped by refrigerating it for a few days after it has ripened. The banana will be brown on the outside but still perfectly good on the inside. The banana will be used for an object lesson. Hold the banana in front of the class and ask these questions: Do any of you like bananas? This banana is really brown on the outside; it looks rotten. Would any of you eat it? Why/why not?
Begin to peel the banana while talking to the class. “Sometimes things look real bad on the outside, but you don’t know what is on the inside until you look. This banana was really nasty looking and some of you said you would not eat it. Now that I’ve peeled it, you can see that it is good and edible. Our verse today says that people look at the outward appearance, but God says you should not even consider the outside but look at the inside. We could have assumed the banana was rotten and thrown it away; we would’ve missed something good. Some people are like this banana: you have to get to know them, look beyond the outside appearance and really see who they are. You might find a true friend.”
Read the verse together again. Close with this statement: “God’s word says that He doesn’t care about how you look, how you dress, how you smell, how much money you have or don’t have. He doesn’t care if you live with your parents, grandparents, other relative or adopted family. God loves you no matter what. God only cares about your heart — that means your attitude. God sees who you really are. He wants you to love him and love others; he wants you to do your best to live right, make right choices and treat others right. It doesn’t matter what others think about you because you are pleasing God with who you are and how you act. And that is the only thing that truly matters.”
Be sure to use some self esteem building activities