Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Big, Red Self-Destruct Button - Youth Sunday School Lesson



Needed: Bibles

Proverbs 26:27 - If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it. If a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.

What does this verse mean? There are consequences, potentially negative consequences, to everything we do.

Today we’re going to look at some of the consequences that come when we sin.


Unsatisfied, Guilty

Proverbs 20:17 - Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

Why does stolen food taste sweet?  What is Solomon saying there? Why does sinning give us pleasure?  As humans, born with a sinful nature, we enjoy giving in to our desires. We’re selfish and greedy and we like to get things without having to give anything up. And we like to see what we can get away with. Sinning is fun. At least for a time.

But then we end up with a mouth full of gravel. What do you think that means? The pleasures of sin are short-lived. We do something wrong and then it’s over. Then what? We realize that the thing we did wasn’t that great after all. We’re not satisfied. We stole something or cheated somebody out of something or whatever and that thing doesn’t make us any happier. We’re right back to where we started.  And we probably feel guilty to boot.


Negative consequences

Proverbs 22:5 - In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.

Proverbs 21:16 - A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.

 What happens when we sin? We pay the negative consequences. There are thorns and snares waiting for us. If we sin, we’re going to get ourselves into trouble. There’s going to be consequences. We could even end up dying as a result of our sin.

Who can give me an example of how we can die as a result of our sin? Smoking leads to lung cancer. Premarital sex leads to stds. Drugs leads to overdose. Losing temper or offending people leads to fights.


Punishment

Proverbs  17:11An evil man is bent only on rebellion; a merciless official will be sent against him.

What is this verse saying will happen to us if we continue to sin?  We could get ourselves in trouble with the authorities. Society makes rules for a reason and if we are breaking those rules, we will not be allowed to get away with it. The police will stop us. Or we could apply this to a job situation. If we’re doing something we’re not supposed to at work, we’ll be disciplined for it. Same thing at home or school. Our parents and teachers are the authorities there. If we’re doing things we shouldn’t, we’re going to be punished.


Contempt

Proverbs 18:3When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.

What does this verse mean? When we sin, who has contempt for who? When we sin, who is disgraced? This verse points out that those who do wrong are looked down upon or disliked or even worse.  How do we feel about Hitler?  How do we feel about someone who always lies to us?  How do we feel about someone who’s always bragging or making fun of others?  One of the consequences of sin is that others learn not to like us very well. They will have contempt for us and we will be in disgrace.


Proverbs 19:3A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.

When we sin, who should we blame for the negative consequences? Our first reaction when we find ourselves dealing with the consequences of our sin is to get mad at God or our parents or teachers or the policeman or our boss or whoever, just as long as it’s not us. But as we have seen throughout this lesson, we are the only ones to blame for the negative consequences of our sin.  We are the ones who dug the pit so we could fall into it. We’re the ones who rolled the stone so it could roll back on us. If we don’t want trouble, we shouldn’t start it. And that we won’t have to worry about feeling empty after our sin and feeling guilty and having negative consequences and getting in trouble and having people not like us.

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