The world can be cruel, but the spiritual fruit of kindness is growing in the hearts of all who follow Jesus. Kids who follow Jesus can be an example to their friends and a powerful witness to Jesus. Use this lesson to teach children to BE KIND to all people.
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This is the fifth Bible lesson in our series based on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Each particular lesson plan explains a specific character quality that God creates in us through His Spirit.
Relevant Scriptures Pertaining to Kindness: Galatians 5:22-23; Proverbs 3:3; Micah 6:8; Ephesians 4:32; Titus 3:3-5a
Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:
- An understanding that kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- An understanding that kindness is modeled most greatly by our God and is made possible through Christ.
Bible Verse to Memorize: Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)
- Bibles (plus extras for children who forget to bring one), dry erase or chalk board with Galatians 5:22-23 written out, eight pieces of paper with one letter written on each: K, I, N, D, N, E, S, S
- Necklaces prepared ahead of time (see instructions at the end of this lesson): cardstock or poster board, yarn or twine, marker, scissors
- Fruit of the Spirit Kindness coloring pages found at www.Ministry-To-Children.com, crayons
- Piece of paper for parents with Ephesians 4:32 printed on them, one for each family; on the back, instruct parents to ask their children what five acts of kindness they are going to do this week
Optional Activity: For the fruit of the Spirit lessons, make a tree for the wall labeled “Believer” or “Christian.” (On a poster board or large piece of paper, draw or use construction paper.) Make paper “fruits,” each labeled with an attribute of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Each week add the particular attribute you are teaching about. This week, you would add “kindness,” allowing a child to place it on the branch of the tree. Use only one type of fruit, for though there are several virtues produced by the Spirit, they are all one type of fruit: the fruit of the Spirit.
Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Prior to children arriving, write Galatians 5:22-23 on the board. Then hide each letter of KINDNESS around the room. After all the children arrive, explain to them that there are eight letters hidden around the room that spell the fruit of the Spirit you will be learning about today.
- Now have them search for the letters. After they have found all of the letters, see if they can discover which fruit it is on their own by looking at the verse on the board. Give them clues if they are unable to figure it out. Then have them spell out KINDNESS by looking at the board and arranging the letters in the right order on the floor or tape them to the board underneath the verse.
Can anyone tell me what kindness is? (Allow them to respond.)
Kindness can be shown with our thoughts, our actions, and our words. How many of you are kind all of the time? (Allow time for response.) None of us are kind all of the time! It is very easy to be unkind to our family and our friends because we are sinners. How can we discover more about kindness? (By reading God’s Word!) Let’s go to His Word now!
God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.
The Bible tells us in this passage that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with kindness! This does not mean that we will be kind all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change. Kindness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives us the power to be kind! This is only possible if you have believed and trusted in Christ for your salvation.
- Read Titus 3:3-5a.
This verse helps us to discover one of the most important things about kindness – God is our example! He is a God of great kindness, and one of the main ways we see His kindness is through His forgiveness. What picture can we draw to help us remember where kindness comes from? (The cross.)
- Read Ephesians 4:32.
This verse commands us to be kind! It tells us to be kind as God is kind to us through His forgiveness! What could we draw a picture of to help remind us to be kind to one another? (Hands for doing kind works.)
- Read Proverbs 3:3.
We are supposed to bind kindness around our necks and write it on our hearts! This means kindness is supposed to be part of who we are! It is with us wherever we go. What can we draw to help us remember this verse? (A heart.)
- Read Micah 6:8.
We are not supposed to be kind just because we are commanded to, but we are to love kindness, to think of it with joy! We are to want to be kind! What could we draw to help us remember this verse? (A brain for knowing that we should want to be kind.)
What do we learn about kindness based on these verses? (Allow them to give their thoughts.) Kindness is what we do, what we say, and what we think. We are to be kind, to love kindness, and to learn kindness from our only perfect example, our God!
Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
We are going to come up with five kind things we can do this week! They can be things to do at home, at school, or at church. (As the children come up with real ideas they can do this week, write them on the board. Encourage them to think of things they can do in secret, so that only they and God know. This is the ultimate display of humble kindness, when we do not seek a reward for it.)
- Use the fruit of the Spirit coloring page for kindness found at www.ministry-to-children.com. Act out the scene depicted in the picture, or the acts you discussed as a group. Emphasize that as God produces kindness in our hearts, we begin to see other people as more important than ourselves. Remind them of Christ, who humbled Himself, coming down from the throne, making Himself a weak human in order to save all of mankind. We are to emulate Him!
When we are struggling to be kind to another person, we should remember God’s great kindness toward us. As sinners, we have offended God. The Bible says that we have even hated Him. So, God had every right to be angry with us, but instead He showed just how great His kindness is by saving us! When you really want to respond to someone with unkindness, think of how God could have punished you for your sin. But instead, in His kindness, He offers everyone here complete forgiveness! Every day we still sin against God, and He continues to be kind to us. Let’s show the kindness to others that God has shown to us! This is possible only if we abide in Him, if we get to know Him more and more through praying, learning His Word, and following Him.
Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
I want us to memorize together Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV) (Use hand motions to help them memorize or write it on the board, erasing one word at a time until everyone is able to say it together without seeing it.)
Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)
- Now spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the kindness we are able to have because He lives within us.
- Encourage parents to work on this week’s verse with their children. Send home the paper with the verse printed on it with instructions to ask the children about the five acts of kindness they will do this week.
Craft: Make Kindness Necklaces
This idea is based on Proverbs 3:3. Draw a heart on a piece of cardstock or poster board like the example below. You can make them as big as you want! Write Proverbs 3:3 and Kindness on the inside. Punch a hole and loop through a length of twine or yarn. Tie a knot to make a necklace. If there’s time, let your children decorate their necklaces at Sunday school or they can do it at home.