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Attitude Toward Others

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OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHERS 

Scripture: Exodus 20:12–17; Matthew 22:38–39

Memory verse: Matthew 22:39
"And the second (greatest command) is like it, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' "

Lead—In

Show the class you can catch with your fingers a flat currency bill that you drop vertically between your fingers. Then have volunteers try to catch the bill you drop between their fingers. They will have difficulty. It is easier for the one dropping the bill to catch it.

Mention that we are often so involved with thinking about ourselves that we do not pay attention to what is going on in others’ lives. To catch a currency bill dropped in this manner by someone else, the catcher must concentrate on the other’s hand. Similarly it is not easy to know if our friends have needs, but if we pray and ask God to help us concentrate on them, then we will be able to see their needs and help them as we would help ourselves.

Last week we began our study of the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. The first four commandments showed how to have a right relationship with God. The last six of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationships to others. God knows it is important to get along with others, so He has given guidelines to help us.

Honouring Our Parents

Ask: “What is the Fifth Commandment?” (Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 20:12.)

This commandment forms a sort of bridge between the commandments that deal with our attitude toward God and those that tell us how to treat one another. God may have put this commandment before the remaining five because He knows we need to learn to love and get along with our parents before we can learn to love and get along with others. God wants us to listen to our parents and respect them.

Ask: “Do you show respect for your parents by obeying them?”

(Note: Explain that in some cases obedience may be wrong. For instance, if a parent insists that a child do something that is clearly wrong or immoral, God does not want the child to obey and be harmed. The child ought to be encouraged instead to seek help from a pastor or mature Christian adult.)

It is much easier to obey employers, teachers, and God if we first learn to honour our parents. This is the first commandment. God gave that has a promise along with it. (Read Exodus 20:12 once again.) This shows the importance God places on obedience.

Warning against Murder

Since the day anger drove Cain to kill his brother Abel, hatred in men’s hearts has at times led to murder. Yet God’s Word says in the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

This verse talks about people killing one another because of jealousy, envy, or greed. (Explain that this commandment does not contradict God’s commands for the Israelites to kill the people in the Promised Land. The Sixth Commandment should be interpreted “You shall not kill maliciously.) Murder is still a problem today. Newspapers record accounts of killings every day.

Ask: “Did you know you can also kill someone’s reputation?” (Allow response.)

When we tell harmful things about others, we can greatly damage their lives. A ruined reputation is very hard to restore. A person who “kills” another person’s reputation is, in effect, committing a type of murder.

A good guard against wrong attitudes is to have our hearts so full of God’s love there is no room for anger and hatred. God’s love will help us have sympathy and understanding for others.

Warning against Adultery

The Seventh Commandment is, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). God created marriage and places His blessing upon the family. From the beginning God intended marriage to be a lifetime commitment. Today many people ignore God’s plan for a happy home. When marriage partners break their vows and love another man or woman, it is called adultery.

Sometimes when young people begin dating, they experience new thoughts and feelings. But these feelings can only be fully expressed in marriage. That is why the years of dating are important. At this time they can get to know one another and find out who is God’s choice for them. Then they can build a life together that God can bless and use.

Instructions about Stealing

Ask: “What is the Eighth Commandment?” (Ask a student to read Exodus 20:15.)

Anytime we take something that does not belong to us, we are breaking this commandment. Taking things from the market is probably one of the most common ways people steal. They may think, “Nobody will miss this.” Some people steal just to see if they can get away with it. But whatever the reason for doing it, stealing is sin.

Sometimes stealing is less direct. For example, suppose you see someone drop money. After the person walks away, you put the money in your pocket.

Ask: “Is that stealing?” (Allow response.)

Yes, it is. Or what if the salesperson gives you too much change and although you know it, you do not say anything?

Ask: “Is that stealing? (Allow discussion.)

Another way we steal is by not giving God what belongs to Him. When we earn money, we should give the church 10 percent, which is the tithe, for God. If we do not it is like robbing God. (Ask a student to read Malachi 3:8, 10.)

Bearing False Witness

The Ninth Commandment says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). This commandment deals with that little member of the body that is very difficult to control—the tongue.

Ask: “What does it mean to bear false witness?” (Allow responses.)

Suppose someone accused you of stealing something you did not take or made up a story about something you never did. That is bearing false witness.

How careful we need to be in this area! It is easy to tell others things we have heard, even if we do not know for sure if they are true. Sometimes it may seem fun to exaggerate stories about others. But that does not make it right. We are not to spread gossip and tell untrue stories about others. The Bible strongly warns us against that. (Ask volunteers to read 1Timothy 5:13 and Titus 3:1, 2.)

Ask: “Can we lie by saying nothing?” (Allow responses.)

At times we may hear something about another person that we know is false.

Ask: “Should we speak up and tell the truth or keep quiet?” (Allow discussion. Help the students realize that silence can sometimes mean we are consenting or agreeing to the false stories.)  

We can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, control what we say.

The Sin of Covetousness

Ask: “What is the Tenth Commandment?” (Allow responses.)

When we want something that belongs to someone else so much we would be willing to do wrong to get it, we are “coveting.” Covetousness comes from a greedy, selfish nature that always wants to get more.

Ask: “What are some things people covet today?” (Responses might include clothes, cars, even friends.)

It is natural to admire things other people own, and to want nice things for ourselves. But when we let these desires take up all our time and energy, it is sinful. Coveting often leads to other sins such as lying, stealing, and hatred. God wants to be first in our lives. He also wants us to be more concerned about others than ourselves.

Six Commandments in One

Jesus summed up all the commandments we talked about today in this week’s memory verse. (Repeat the verse with the class.) When we love our neighbours and respect their feelings as much as our own, we will keep the last six commandments automatically.

Accepting God’s Word

God gave the last six commandments because it is important to Him how a person is treated. God loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. Now when we believe Jesus did this for us, believe He is God’s Son, and ask Him to forgive our sins, He will. When we put God first in our lives, we are honouring His command.

Remind the students that our neighbours are not just people who live near us. They are all people with whom we come in contact. Stress that when we obey this week’s memory verse, we will automatically keep each of the commandments studied this week.

Asia Challenge

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Intercessors for Asia

1. Our youth group to truly believe in the power of prayer,
2. Raise up an army of prayer warriors, intercessors, for Asia,
3. Our youth group to expect an answer to our prayers.                 

Prayer Promise

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:22).

Remember: OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHERS

Memory verse: Matthew 22:39
"And the second (greatest command) is like it, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' "

1. God loves people. Each of us is made in His image.
2. I will treat people, God's creation, with care and respect.
3. I will love God first, people second and myself last.

Pray for Intercessors for Asia.

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Study 3 | All the World/Great Teachings | africaatts.org/go-teach

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