Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

To help your students understand that Jesus can help Christians adjust our attitudes to be attractive to others (and therefore a good witness) rather than a turn-off, try this object lesson.

Bring two similar sized drinking glasses and a pitcher of water to your lesson. Prepare one of the glasses to look dirty on the outside by smearing it with your dirty fingerprints or rubbing food particles or dirt on it, keeping the glass rim clean.

Show the students your glasses and pitcher of water. Ask, "Is anyone thirsty? I am! I have two glasses here, and I will pour some water into both of them."

Show the children the glasses and, as you pour the water, say, "The only difference between the two glasses is that one glass is dirty. Who would like to drink from that glass of water?" Get a show of hands. (Some of your more precocious kids will probably raise their hands. After the lesson, give them an opportunity to have a drink from the dirty glass.)

Then say to those who didn't raise their hands, "You wouldn't want to drink that water? But the dirt on the glass are only on the outside. Nothing bad or dirty has mixed with the water. Now who would like to drink from the dirty glass?" Get a show of hands.

"Who would like to drink from the clean glass?" Get a show of hands. Say, "The water in either glass will take away our thirst. But most of us aren't attracted to a dirty glass, are we? Why not? (We can't be sure the water isn't dirty or contaminated. If someone is careless enough to serve water in a dirty glass, that person may be careless enough to mix dirt in the water. The water doesn't look clean when it's in a dirty glass, even though it may be.)  Christians can present to the world an attitude that is attractive (hold up the clean glass) or we can present a grumbling, complaining, whining attitude (hold up the dirty glass). Which type of Christian are you? When you leave church do you grumble, complain, and whine?

Even during tough times, Christians don't have to act like grumps or complainers. As we let Jesus fill our lives, we will appear more joyful and attractive to those around us. Our up-beat attitude will help others want to know more about Jesus, too. The world is thirsty for the love of Jesus. Your attitude can either turn people away from Jesus or draw people to Him.

Jesus called himself "living water." We can offer people the living water of Jesus when we let Jesus adjust our attitude and clean up our language, dress, and speech. What areas of your life do you need to work on cleaning up? (If you have an example from your own life about how God helped you clean up your attitude, share it now.) Then let the students share prayer requests and praises or examples of how God is working in their own lives.

Close your lesson in prayer. Have the students pray, asking God to help them make an attitude adjustment and let Jesus fill their lives. Talk individually with any students who would like to know more about having Jesus as their Savior. (See the blog post from May 17, 2010,  "Leading a Child to Christ" for suggestions.)

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