Do Your Part
Stage a little competition to see how long family members can keep a balloon in the air (without it touching the ground). Give each family member a balloon. Blow up and tie each balloon. Time them to see who can keep it in the air longest. Then pair up family members, give each pair one balloon, and time them to see who can keep their balloon in the air longest.
Which was harder: keeping the balloon in the air by yourself or with a partner? (Probably with a partner) Why? (Sometimes my partner was supposed to hit the balloon and he failed; I couldn’t control what my partner did; etc.)
This reminds me of getting along with people. It is not always easy to get along with others. Even when we try to be kind and helpful, they do not.
Read Romans 12:18. What does it tell us to do? We can’t control what others do, but as much as it depends on us, we must try to get along with people.
To Do and Not To Do
Students looked at Bible verses to learn ways to deal with difficult people. Read Matthew 18:15-17 together and discuss some things to do.
What are some other things you can do when you are dealing with a difficult person/bully? (Speak to the person and stand up to them; if they won’t listen, invite others to go and talk with them; ask a parent, adult, teacher, or principal for help; pray for him/her; avoid the person; ask friends to stand with you; etc.)
There is not just one right way to deal with difficult people. God’s Word tells us to speak up to the person who has “offended” or hurt us. Sometimes they may not have realized what they have done. (Sometimes they may have just been mean!) So look the other person in the eye and tell him/her how you feel about what he/she has done. If he/she won’t listen, take someone else with you and both of you talk with that person. If the person still continues hurting you, talk to someone in authority—a parent, teacher, coach, principal, etc. Then if nothing seems to work, avoid this person.
What are some things you shouldn’t do? (Try to get revenge; hate the person; become a bully—people who bully others have sometimes been bullied themselves; try to physically hurt the other person; etc.)
It is nearly impossible to love difficult people without God’s help. We must first ask God to help us have the right attitude. We must ask for wisdom to know what to do. We must not try to get revenge or hurt them back. We may need to avoid them as much as possible. It is not always possible to get along with everyone, but God’s Word can help us.
Watch a three-minute video of five boys who decided to show caring to a boy who had been bullied: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/06/01/inspiration-nation-bullying/28303975/
James Willmert, a fifth-grader had a learning disability and was often teased by other students.
What are some reasons kids tease others?
How might you have felt if you were in James’ place?
How did the simple act of being kind to James help him?
Is there someone you know who needs love or kindness?