You Can’t Steal My Joy!
Play a game (that upper elementary students may have played in class) to talk about contentment and joy.
Give each person a sheet of paper and a pen or marker. Ask them to think of things that take away/steal their joy. Another way to say that is to name things that make you unhappy or not satisfied.
- My bike is old and not very good.
- I wish I had what _____ had.
- I never get to be first.
- I had to do an extra chore.
- My teacher gave too much homework.
- I’m afraid of a storm.
- I’m worried about my spelling test. ETC.
Tape the piece of paper (which has a ‘joy-stealing statement’ on it) to each one’s back. Write “JOY” on one piece of paper and choose one person to have joy and tape “JOY” page on his back.
The object of the game is for the joy stealers to try and grab the ‘JOY’ sign.
Mark an area of safety with masking tape on one end where the person with joy can go. Line all the joy stealers up at one end of the field or room and at the signal of go, they must chase the person with the ‘JOY’ sign and try to steal it. Any time the person with joy runs behind the safety line, the joy stealers can’t get it.
When someone steals the joy, play stops and a new person gets the joy sign and play resumes with the ‘joy stealers’ trying to grab the ‘JOY’ from the new person.
After a few rounds, talk about it:
Does it ever seem like people or events keep stealing your joy? If so, how?
What is joy?
How can you get it?
Which is easier, to get it or lose it?
I’ve Got a Secret!
Students learned the secret of contentment from Paul. Read Philippians 4:6 to learn the SECRET:
- Turn the situation over to God.
- Think right thoughts.
- Thank God.
Sometimes bad things happen which can take away our feelings of joy and contentment. What can we do?
Think of a bad situation and then use the “secret” to find ways to feel content inside.
For example: Your grandmother is sick and you’re sad and you worry that she might die.
- Tell God how you feel and ask for His help.
- When tempted to think ‘worried thoughts’, think of happy memories of your grandmother. Think of Bible verses that give you comfort.
- Thank God that He is listening. Thank God that He is wise and will do what is best. ***We can still be content even if God doesn’t answer as we would like. He can help us to accept the situation.
3 Good Things
Complaining can becoming a habit, so help kids learn to be content by making a new rule:
For every complaint, they must say 3 good things.
Why do we always have mashed potatoes? I don’t like lumpy potatoes.
3 good things:
- I’m glad we have peas. They’re my favorite.
- I’m happy that we have food to eat.
- I’m glad that Mom makes us dinner.
Paul said he learned to be content whether things were good or bad. (Philippians 4:11-13) We can always find something for which to be thankful!