Early in your lesson on confidence, help your children make these two measuring charts, which are similar to traditional growth charts.
The first chart represents the way the world evaluates us. It’s very tall, illustrating that it’s impossible for anyone to reach the world’s standard of perfection. The second chart shows how God “measures” us. It’s very short, because everyone who makes the choice to accept Jesus “measures up.”
Make two measure-up charts
You’ll need the following supplies:
2-3 sheets of poster board
To make the world’s measuring chart:
- Cut one of the poster boards into four equal portions (widthwise).
- Tape the sheets end to end to make one very tall growth chart.
- Use a marker to add horizontal measurement lines on your chart.
- Help your children cut out magazine pictures that illustrate how the world measures us – or have your children draw their own pictures. Beside the horizontal lines you have drawn, list examples of how people measure each other. For example:
how much money we have (show dollar signs or coins and bills)
where we live and the kind of house we live in (show a beautiful home)
attractiveness and how we look (show a beautiful smiling face with bright white teeth or an attractive model with a muscular body)
how good we are at sports (show someone playing sports)
how smart we are (show a brain)
how many friends we have and how much fun we seem to have (show a group of friends having fun together)
the kind of car we drive (show an expensive sports car)
how many toys we have (show many fancy toys)
the kind of clothes we wear (show brand-name clothing).
To make God’s measuring chart:
- Cut one of the poster boards short enough so that all family members are tall enough to be “off the chart.” Include traditional horizontal “height lines” and place a big heart at the top.
- Make 20 -30 smaller hearts (which you will eventually place alongside the horizontal measurement lines on God’s measuring chart). Place them in a basket or bowl near the chart.
- Print out these Bible verses and place them in the basket near the chart too: Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39, 1 John 3:1a, 1 John 4:8b, 1 John 4:9, 1 John 4:10. (All the verses assure your children of God’s unconditional love.)
- Each day, allow your children to each take one heart and one verse from the bowl. Read the verse and stick the heart on the chart. By the end of your study on confidence, your chart will be full of hearts and your children will have a visual reminder of God’s immense love for them.
- While you are working on God’s measuring chart, ask the following discussion questions.
Questions for discussion
- Do you decide how many toys you have?
- Can you control the way you look?
- Can you ever measure up to the world’s standards?
- Let’s say you do a pretty good job of measuring up based on the world’s standards: you are attractive, smart and athletic. Does this make you more valuable than the next kid?
- If you base your value on what other people think of you, will you ever measure up in everyone’s eyes?
- Is it possible to earn God’s love?
- Why does God love you?
- Can we be righteous just by trying?
- Is it your choice to ask God to forgive your sins?
- Whose choice is it to obey the directions God gives us in the Bible?
People often evaluate us based on how we look, how much money we have, the kind of house we live in, our athletic ability, how smart we are, how many friends we have, how much fun we seem to have, the kind of car we drive, how many toys we have, and the kind of clothes we wear. But many of these things are beyond our control. It can be very discouraging to try and “measure up” to all of the world’s standards.
In contrast, God “measures us” based only on things we can control. We cannot change our looks, or our inborn talents or abilities, but we do have complete control over the attitudes of our hearts. The Bible tells us that people look at the outside, but God looks at what is in our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).
God loves everyone and offers each person an opportunity to be part of His family. God looks for people who love and respect Him and who have humble and sorry hearts. God lets us choose whether or not we will obey His commandments in the Bible and whether or not we will ask Him to forgive our sins and invite Him to be the leader of our lives.
We are all born sinful, but through Jesus becoming the sacrifice for our sins, we can have our sins forgiven and be seen by God as “righteous” (2 Corinthians 5:17,21). We don’t have to be “good enough” to be forgiven by God. God just wants us to humbly admit that we do bad things (that we are sinful) and that we need His forgiveness and His Spirit living in us to make us like Him – loving and righteous.
1 Samuel 16:7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ ”
Isaiah 66:2 “
‘Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the Lord. ‘This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word.’ ”
“He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God . . .”
2 Corinthians 5:17,21
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! . . . God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”