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Youth Group Lesson on Acceptance

Lesson Overview
The Point: There are things about ourselves and others that we struggle to accept. God
chose you because He loves you for who you are. Just as He made allowances for your
faults, He expects you to make allowances for the faults of others.
Bible: Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves
with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make
allowance for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the
Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

Opening Game
Supplies
Paper
Pens/crayons/markers
Table/flat surface
Blindfolds
Space Requirements
Room upfront for four-eight people to work side by side at tables

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Game Description
Divide contestants into pairs. One partner will be blindfolded. The other will not be allowed
to make any noises whatsoever. During the allotted time (1-2 minute rounds
recommended) the partners must work together despite their individual flaws to have
the blindfolded person draw the items listed on a sheet of paper that only his/her partner
can see. The non-blindfolded partner cannot make any noises and cannot do the actual
drawing him/herself. The Team that finishes drawing the most amount of items wins. In
the event of a tie, the leader (or a panel of judges) can judge the quality artwork to
determine the winner.

Items to Draw
Cross
Smiley face
Heart
Stick figure
Tree
Bird
Cat
Football
Chair
The capital letter G
Cell phone
Flower

Game Tie-in
In this game, students with different flaws were forced to work together to overcome
them. Though they probably wanted to, they couldnt change their partners flaws just as
they couldnt change their own. Instead, they had to make allowances for them to move
on and complete the challenge at hand.

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Teach
Doesnt it just stink when theres something you dont like, but theres nothing you can do
about it? Sometimes, there are things about ourselves that we wish we could change.
Maybe we dont like our physical appearance. We just dont feel like we are attractive
enough like we dont live up to the unrealistic expectations of popular culture. Sometimes
there is something that we wished that we could be better at, but no matter how hard we
try, we just dont improve, at least not in a way that satisfies.
What about when your issue is with someone else? Maybe theres a person or group of
people in your life with whom you just cant get along. It could be an attitude issue or
perhaps this person treats you poorly. In the scenarios I have described, the
circumstances might be different, but they point to the same unfortunate truth: we cant
always make things (people) the way we want. Sure, we can do our best to minimize the
problem through fashion choices, avoiding the activity we struggle at or ignore the people
who bother us, but they are still there. Life is often outside of our ability to control. Thats
just well Life.
Cheerful topic, huh? Dont you wish I could just give you the secret answer that will solve
all of lifes problems? In truth, I can, but it may not be the solution you are hoping for. The
solution boils down to one wordacceptance.
Accepting Others
Im going to start with the second scenario first. Take a moment to close your eyes. Who
is the person or persons in your life that you are having a hard time accepting? Why do
you have a hard time accepting this person(s)? It is entirely possible that you have every
reason to dislike this person. He/she might treat you poorly, might do things to you that
Jesus would frown upon. That, however, doesnt change Gods solution.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with
tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance
for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave
you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

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Lets look at a few key points in this verse.
God chose you to be holy.
The Creator of the Universe looked down at the billions of people that have walked the
earth since He formed it and said, I choose you. Thats pretty amazing. He chose you
for a purposeto be holy. Because of this He expects us to live a certain wayto be
merciful, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.
Make allowances for each others faults.
People arent perfect. If you are willing to be honest, neither are you. Everyone has faults.
As much as we would love to be able to fix them, learning to accept others requires us to
make allowancesmake roomfor other peoples faults.
Forgive like Jesus.
Finally, the key to learning how to accept others is to forgive like Jesus. We could spend
a lifetime describing the ways that Jesus has forgiven us. Lets hone in on just a couple.
First, Jesus forgave when we didnt deserve it. The just reward for our sinful lives (yes,
we all sin) is deathan eternity separated from God. Instead, He forgives everyone who
follows Him. Second, He forgives and forgets. Boy, isnt that the hardest part of
forgiveness? If we are to learn to accept others, we must forgive them even if they dont
deserve it. We must also not continue to hold it against them for how they treated us.
Accepting Others
I decided to finish with this because, in my experience, accepting ones self is the hardest
thing to do. We all have flaws, but even though we know this, it is hard to get past the
flaws we see in ourselves. Popular culture often doesnt help with this. For someone to
truly live up to the ideals we see in the media, he/she would have to be obscenely rich,
have access to the best plastic surgeons in the world, and be willing to sell his/her very
soul to achieve perfection. Heres the saddest truth of all: there are plenty of people in
the world right now with the means to do just that, and guess what, they are some of the
most unhappy people alive.
The truth is that God doesnt make mistakes. He created you and loves you for who you
are right now. Next time you have a chance, look in a mirror and study the person looking
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back at you. This person is so amazing in Gods eyes that He was willing to sacrifice His
only Son to brutal torture so that He could spend an eternity with you. Lets look at a few
things the Bible says about how He sees you.
For we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do
the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I
know that full well Psalms 139:14 (NIV)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone
who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life John 3:16 (NLT)
Look at some of those key words: Gods masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Those words describeyou. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die
for you. Youre not perfect. You may not be the person youd like to be, but never forget
that God would do it all over again just for you. You are His masterpiece. You are fearfully
and wonderfully made. God has already accepted you. Now, its on you to start accepting
yourself.

Small Group Discussion Questions


1. Which is harder for you, accepting others or accepting yourself? Why?
2. How can you start making allowances for other peoples faults starting today?
3. What does it mean to forgive like Jesus?
4. What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?
5. What are some ways that you feel God has shown you that He loves you just the
way you are today?

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