Exodus 20:16; Amos 5:11,12; Amos 8:5,6; Proverbs 16:11
To help students think about speaking and acting honestly.
• Make up four or five statements about yourself or the world – some which aren’t true and some which are. For example:
When I was younger, I released a CD which made the Top 40.
• Think of some situations, relevant to the school you’ll be visiting, where it might be difficult to tell the truth, for example because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or get into trouble.
1 Tell the students that you are going to make a series of statements to them. They must vote on each one according to whether they think you are telling the truth or a lie.
Read out each of the statements you have prepared. After each, allow a few moments for students to decide whether what you’ve said is true or not. Then ask them to vote by putting up their hand for either option.
2 Tell the students which statements were true and which were false. Ask what helped them decide when you were lying and when you were telling the truth.
3 Ask the students the following, getting some feedback each time:
- On a scale of 1–10 (10 being very honest) how honest are you?
- Is it ever right to lie?
- What about ‘little white lies’?
4 Give these examples of when they might not tell the absolute truth:
a) Someone asks, ‘Do you like my new haircut?’ You think it’s awful, but what do you say?
b) Someone asks, ‘Do I look thinner?’ They don’t! What do you say?
c) You haven’t done your homework, due today. What will you say to your teacher? The truth or a lie?
d) You scratch a friend’s CD. Do you tell them the truth or lie about the scratch?
Add more, trying to make them relevant to your audience.
5 Ask what the honest thing to do would be in each of these situations. Is it always wrong not to tell the whole truth?
Say that Christians believe they should be totally honest in all they do, because God is honest. Dishonesty usually leads to more lies and cause injustice, hurt and more dishonesty: for every lie you tell, you need another to cover up. It’s better to tell the truth in the first place.
Think about the times when you have lied or not been honest and others have been hurt as a result. You might like to say sorry to God in your head for the things that you have been dishonest about. Invite them to ask God to help them be more honest in all they do.