"Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. A generous person will be enriched ..."
Obtain a packet of seeds. Ask the children what will happen if just one seed is planted. Explain to them that It may or may not grow, but one seed will not produce very much. Then ask the children what will happen if the whole packet of seeds is planted. Tell them that many of the seeds will grow, and the yield will increase dramatically. Now read Proverbs 11:24-25a. Tell the children that giving is like planting seeds. If you give a little, you will not receive much in return. However, if you give a lot, you will experience great joy. God increases our capacity to give as we give more. When we give money to God, we will not necessarily be blessed with monetary riches, but we might be blessed in other ways. Ask the children to describe some of the potential blessings that people who give generously of their time, money, or possessions may receive. Some answers include:
- They will have more friends.
- Other people will be more likely to help them when they have a need.
- These givers will experience joy in knowing that they have helped others.
- They will have a Christian perspective on money and possessions.
- They will realize that God's blessings, not things, bring true happiness.
In most areas of the United States, children are returning to school after a summer vacation. Ask the children to list the many items that children need when they return to school. Ask the children to choose one school item that they will provide for a needy child. They can either purchase a new item or donate one of their own items in good condition. Encourage the children to share Proverbs 11:24-25a and this lesson with others. Perhaps an entire congregation will want to join the efforts of providing school supplies to children in need. Help the children choose a donation site or contact a local school principal or your pastor to find out the needs of children in the church or local community. Remind the children that they are making God happy by focusing on someone other than themselves. God will bless them for their generosity!
Dear God, too often I take your blessings for granted. Thank you for everything that you have given me. I have so much compared to most children. Help me to share generously with others. I want to be a generous giver of my time, my money, and my things. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Questions for Discussion
- How do you feel when you know you have helped others? How do you feel when someone else helps you?
- Talk about a time when you have been blessed by helping someone else. Talk about a time when you have been blessed when someone has helped you.
- How does sharing with others show God that we appreciate our blessings?
Janet Zimmerman is an ordained United Methodist deacon, who serves as Christian Education Director at Church of the Lakes in Canton, Ohio.
Posted in 2004.