One of the most common mistakes that Christians make today is that they carry their emotions on their sleeves. When someone wrongs us or says something hurtful, we hold on to it and allow the anger to build a Spirit of Offense. When we do this and don't forgive them, we suffer in our relationship with God.
To get this message across to students, have a leader put on a long raincoat with a hood (make sure it reaches knees or lower). Begin to slowly pour – drop by drop – some water onto their head. As the kids will see, the water rolls down the jacket without getting the person wet. Drive home the point that when we allow offense to build up in our lives, it acts as a raincoat, spiritually. It makes it difficult to receive anything from God.
Then tell them that when they ask for forgiveness for themselves and the person who offended them, it removes that Spirit of Offense so they can again receive from God. Show them this by having the leader remove the raincoat then pour water (again, drop by drop) on them, showing that now, with the offense removed, they can receive from God.
Idea by Ryan Kramer
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.