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SUNDAY, 30TH JULY, 2023.

Study 2: CHEATING:
Text: Lev 6:1-7; 19:11: Prov 9:11-18; Matt 25:14-30; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 16:10-15
Key Verse: Matthew 25:21
“His mas ter replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (NIV)
Today’s study deals with the difference between the world’s standards of success and the standards found in God’s kingdom. It’s easy to talk to students in a classroom setting about what they should do, but teens have seen and heard enough to know that some adults are willing to do anything to get ahead. If they’re taking their cues from society, your teens may have accepted the notion that cheating is not a big deal.
As you prepare for this study, search your own life.Are you honest in all your dealings even when you think no one is looking? And which standard of success are you gauging your life against-material acquisition or how daily you love and serve God and others? If your life wouldn’t serve as a prime example for students to follow, take some time this week to repent and ask God to help you adjust your basic values. Pay special attention to issues where right and wrong may not seem to be clearly defined.
>>The Basic Message: Explain to students
Cheating may seem like the easy path, but it’s really a shortcut to destruction.
Cheating and dishonesty separate us from God and waste our talents and abilities.
Repent of any cheating, resolve to live a life of integrity, and commit to doing your best with what you have.
>>Activity Option: WHAT’S IT WORTH?
Bring ten items of assorted values and place them where everyone can see them. Include a low-cost item that has great sentimental value. Give each student a sheet of paper and pen or pencil. Have them rank the items according to value (1 = highest value, 10 =lowest value). Discuss how each of us places different degrees of value on things. Point out your sentimental item and explain why it’s valuable to you.
>>Guide: Explain that just as what we value differs from person to person, God values things that may not seem important to others. Wherever we are, the challenge for us is to value what God values.
>>Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers…
• What constitutes cheating and why it’s a sin and the trouble it can cause.
• The process of repentance and making things right after cheating.
• How importance it is to use one’s God-given abilities and opportunities.
>>Inform and Discuss
a). Shortcut to Trouble
1. Read or ask a volunteer to read Prov 9:11-18. What perceived advantages do people see in cheating? What destructive or hurtful issues are involved in cheating?
>>Guide: Explain that although this passage seems to be dealing with issues other than classroom cheating, the principle still applies. Cheating, like sin, offers false promise. Itseems like an easy way to get something you want, but it’s actually a shortcut to destruction. Cheating ills potential, true learning, and a clear conscience.
2. Read or ask a volunteer to read Luke 16:10-12. What are some behaviours that cheating now could lead to later in life? [Hint: Although some students may not accept these correlations, dishonesty now will make it easier to cheat in order to get advancements at work or to be unfaithful in a marriage, etc.]
>>Guide: Explain that the first time we cheat is usually hardest. After that, it gets easier, and we get trapped in patterns (of lack of integrity) we can’t escape. God wants us to do our best, but He doesn’t value any form of worldly success as highly as He values honesty, integrity, and hard work. We should never justify cheating (Luke 16:13-18).
3. Read or ask a volunteer to read Lev 6:1-7: 19:11. What should Christian do if they’ve cheated in a class they are still taking? [Hint: In addition to confessing to God, they should go to the teacher, admit what they’ve done, and face the consequences. They may also need to apologize to honest students and let friends know they will no longer cheat.]
>>Note: Cheating isn’t just a way to do well in school; it’s a sin that hurts others and separates us from God. It encompasses lying and stealing recognition from students who don’t cheat. It’s very likely that the primary reason for cheating is that many students feel pressured to make better grades. Even that doesn’t make cheating less sinful.
b). Degree of Opportunity
>>Guide: Explain that recognizing and faithfully applying our abilities is an important part of why we go to school. Whether the opportunities to use those abilities or talents seem many or few, it’s our responsibility to use them wisely. Sometimes, this means finding or creating opportunities.
• Read or ask a volunteer to read Matt 25: 19-25. Ask each student to think of one talent, gift, or ability God has given them. Then call on several students to describe how they have developed their talent and how they are using it. [Note:The equal commendation received by both the five-talent and two-talent servants shows that God doesn’t judge us by how gifted we are but by how well we use what we have.]
c) . Apply Yourself
Read or ask a volunteer to read Matt 25: 26-30. Ask students what happens to their skill level when they don’t practice (e.g., their sport, musical instrument, etc) for months. [Note: Even things that come easy with practice can become difficult if neglected. Skills not practiced or honed are either Iost or reduced.]
>>Guide: Explain that knowledge build on itself. The more we develop, the easier it is to get. Learning skills for one subject sharpens our minds and makes it easier to learn other areas. On the other hand, unexercised mind that relies on cheating to get good grades only grows dull and slow until even what has already been learned is lost.
d). God’s Grading System
Read or ask a volunteer to read Matt 9:33-37. How does Jesus’ definition of success (or how to be first) differ from the world’s? [Hint: The world emphasizes straight A’s, climbing the social ladder, and financial success. But God says to be first, one must be a servant. He grades us according to lasting values such as faithfulness, integrity, humility, and love. He helps us develop those in our lives through obedience and dependence on the power of His Spirit in us.]
>>Guide: Explain that we have value in God’s eye simply because we are His creations. This means we don’t have to run the world’s rat race, cheating and clawing our way to the top. Instead, we can relax in God’s grace and simply do our best for Him.
>>Involve Them: PEER POINTERS
Divide the students into small groups and assign each group a school subject (e.g., math, English, science, etc.). Ask them to come up with two or three tips, memorization methods or insights that would be helpful in that subject. Give each group a few minutes to prepare, and then have them take turns presenting their “cheater beaters.”
>>Inspire Them: Remind students THE BASIC MESSAGE of this study (pg 27), explaining WHAT the Big ldea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and HOW we can live the lesson captured in this study.
>>Ministry Activity: Take a few minutes to pray with students. Ask them to confess to God any sin of cheating, and commit to honesty in the future. Ask God to give the students a fresh start and grant them the grace to keep their commitment to honesty.
>>Invitation Option: Also pray with students who need to experience a fresh start by accepting Jesus as the Forgiver of their sins and the Leader of their lives. Remind them that this decision is referred to as “being born again” (John 3:3-7) because a person’ sins are forgiven and he or she becomes a new person.
>>Conclude the study by reminding students that when God forgives sins, He no longer considers them. In fact, the Bible tells that He forgets them (Isa 43:25).
>>Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…
1. Do students understand that cheating is sin?
2. Can they explain some of the effects of cheating both on those who cheat and those who don’t?
3. Do they have a clear understanding of the process of repentance, confession, and restitution as it relates to cheating?
4. Have they had opportunity to repent of any cheating, ask for God’s help, and commit to honesty in their educational endeavours?
>>Daily Dew Drops
Mon: Lies Expire Soon – Prov 12:19
Tue: Do Not Tell Lies – Col 3:9-10
Wed: Walk Safely – Prov 10:9; 28:18
Thu: Nothing ls Hidden – Luke 8:17
Fri: You’re Unique – 1 Peter 2:9
Sat: Go for Good Name – Eccl 7:1

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