13 Going On 30
Main Point: Living life with no regrets.
Supplies needed: Pens and paper with pre-typed questions for wrap-up.
Attention Grabber: Movie – 13 Going on 30
This movie is about a 13 year old girl who plays a game on her 13th birthday and wakes up the next day as a 30 year old woman. All in all, this is a great movie to show in a group of junior high girls. The clip, however, will be effective for either gender.
Clip: “You can't just turn back time.”
From the DVD, show Chapter 27, “Her Best Friend”, where adult Jenna goes to the home of her childhood best friend, Matt, on his wedding day to confess her love for him. She realizes that she’s grown into a selfish person but now wants to change her life. Matt is kind to Jenna but tells her that he really cares about his fiancé and her family. The key line from this scene (Matt): “You can’t just turn back time…I moved on.” Jenna tearfully accepts his response and goes outside and cries. STOP before the “wishing dust” scene.
Today we want to talk about choices. Every choice we make today will impact the way our life is in the future. But before we get too far into this topic, we're going to watch a video clip. Listen to what the guy in the scene tells the girl about the past. During the scene, think about what it may be telling us about the choices we make early in life.
SHOW CLIP HERE
This is a great picture of what the future will look like for a lot of people. Some people think that our choices won't really affect our lives in the distant future. But perhaps this is wrong. For me, (and this would be a great time to share your own “If I'd done _______, I would have regretted it — Example: “If I’d married that jerk I dated back in the day, I’d regret it today because…!”).
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: Before we begin, let's go around the circle. Tell us your name and what you want to be when you grow up.
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we watched, Jenna, having seen what she’d become as an adult, regretted it. In “real life” we don’t wake up one day to find that we’re a totally different person. What kinds of choices do we make that impact who we will be?
- ASK A FEW: What's a really good choice you've made, that you've been thankful for making? (This could be a great time for you the leader to share about a class you chose in high school or a time you decided not to do something like cheat or steal or something along those lines.)
- ASK A FEW: Think of some poor choices you’ve made. If you were to make those choices on a daily basis, what would your life be like in, say, 5 years? 10 years?
- ASK A FEW: What do you want your life to look like in 10 years?
- ASK A FEW: What do you want your character to be in 10 years?
- ASK SOMEONE: What’s the connection between those two things: your life and your character?
- Read Proverbs 23:17-18 (NLT)
Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. 18 For surely you have a future ahead of you; your hope will not be disappointed.
What does fearing God have to do with living a life of no regrets?
(Pass out pens and paper.)
I want us to take a few minutes to fill out a personal survey. I’ll talk us through it one question at at time. Try not to get ahead because I really want you to think about your answers and take this seriously.
First, write down your greatest concerns about life right now. It could involve your family situation, school, your dating relationship, your future, anything that concerns you right now. (Give them a minute after each question.)
Now write down the choices you’re either making or thinking about making concerning what you just wrote down. What choices should you be making that can impact your concerns you wrote down?
Great questions to ask yourself when it comes to choices that have an impact on your moral character, relationships, your family, or your heart:
- How will I feel about this tomorrow?
- How will I feel about this in a year? 10 years?
- (Another way of putting it,) Will I look back on this time in my life and be glad or regret today’s choice?
- How will this affect my relationship with God? My parents?
- Will this contribute to my character and self-respect or will it detract from those things?
Would anyone like to share any of their answers? (For the sake of time, only allow one or two people to share.) When you really think about it, right now we are really shaping our future. When we talk about having “no regrets”, we aren't talking about not regretting bad choices we've made. Instead, we want to live our lives in a such a way that there won't be anything to regret when we are older. Right now you are shaping your lives. Life is pretty tough sometimes, and we are constantly being bombarded with hard decisions. We do have to remember that life doesn't often give us second chances. We only have one shot at this. But remember that this is also the beauty of it. We get to decide who we will someday be. Think about what you're doing right now in your life. How are you shaping your future? Let's bow our heads and pray.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time fro the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
When we’ve truly repented of sin and choose to follow Jesus daily, according to this verse, what does it lead to? According to this scripture, what’s the alternative? How does “worldly sorrow” play out in people’s lives? Do you think the Bible is only speaking about physical death? What other kinds of death occur? (Sin kills…relationships, dreams, health.)
The tough reality of life is that while God redeems us and gives us 2nd chances, life doesn’t always do the same. While God’s grace covers our sins, there are consequences for our choices. making wise choices in relationships so that there are no regrets, because in many cases, there are no “do-overs.” It’s not just about avoiding consequences, but about living life “on purpose” with no regrets.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.