Main Point: To understand our own self-worth, first we must understand how God views us—both as his creation and as sinners before him.
(You’ll need tape, as well as enough paper and magic markers so there’s one sheet and one magic marker for each group member)
Tape a piece of paper to everyone’s back. Have each group member write a compliment on the backs of five group members. Make sure you tell your students to make the compliments serious! Say, “If you don’t know a person, you can complement them on how they dress, their hair color, their eyes, their smile, etc.” Once a person has received five compliments and given five compliments, that person sits down. Wait until everyone has finished, then let your students read what was written on their backs, and then proceed with the discussion.
It’s nice to get compliments, isn’t it? But in truth we can’t get too caught up in what other people say about us, whether positive or negative. People aren’t always the best judges of character—or anything else, for that matter! The only person we should be trusting with our self-worth is God. Tonight we’re going to talk a bit about that…
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 CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s each say our names and share if it was easy or hard to write compliments?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Is it easier to compliment others or put down others?
- ASK A FEW: Do you disagree with any of the compliments you received? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Do you find it hard to receive compliments? Why or why not?
- ASK SOMEONE: What is self-esteem?
- ASK A FEW: Where do most teens get their self-esteem?
Read the following verse from the Bible:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
How many of you can draw? (A few hands will go up.) How many of you can sing? (A few hands will go up.) How many of you can run really fast? (A few hands will go up.)
I’ve gone into a kindergarten class and asked the same questions and every hand goes up, every time. All the kids are excited about their drawings- they want them up on the fridge for all to see. They all sing, as loud as possible, and in all different keys. They are all confident in all they do.
You guys don’t seem to be as confident. As a matter of fact… only a few hands went up all together. What I want to know is—what happened between then and now? Why is it that we were confident then and aren’t now? Why is it that we had a good self-image then and don’t now?
Do you know that we receive 19 insults before we receive even one compliment? Therapists say that we need five compliments to make up for every one insult. If that’s true then most of us are only getting 1/96th of the compliments we need. That could be why so many of us have such a terrible self-image and poor self-esteem.
Years ago a federal building in Oklahoma was bombed. If you would have seen the news and watched the footage of when they blew up the remains of that bombed-out building, you would have noticed something—it only took about three seconds. But it took five years to build that building. The moral? It’s much easier to destroy something than to build it—which is why so many people tear others down.
Don’t buy into the lie that you’re not valuable—you are! God holds us as valuable to him. So much so that God provides forgiveness and redemption for our sin.
If you want to talk to one of us about how you can know God better and feel better about yourself, talk to one of our staff. We are here for you!
Close in Prayer
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.