Truth or Dare? (Part 1)
Lesson 3: Ethics and Morality (Part 1)
1. Expose students to the controversy over ethics
2. Create an atmosphere where the tension of right and wrong is felt
3. Help students determine how to make the right choice
Character, Choices, Discernment, Morals, Truthfulness, Virtues, Wisdom
1 Corinthians 1:25
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (15 minutes)
Ethics Scenarios (Workbook Activity)
(If you are not using the workbook, you can print copies of the Ethics Scenarios, Click here PDF Version)
Turn to your workbooks for this lesson and you will find three ethics scenarios. After reading each one, take a few moments to jot down what you believe is the right or wrong thing to do and why. When finsihed, share your thoughts with those sitting around you.
What should you do? Should you tell the truth or lie?
Is it wrong to disguise the truth to save yourself? Or, should you be honest and trust God to protect you?
Are you wrong to skate by, letting your partner do the work, even if he is okay with it? Is it still the right thing to do?
GETTING STARTED (5 minutes)
Today we start the first of two weeks talking about ethics and morality. Ethics and right and wrong are some of the most controversial subjects of our time. From homosexuality and abortion to whether global warming exists and what we should do about it, everyone has an opinion. But is there a right and wrong? How do we know?
In the past weeks we’ve determined that the Bible has plenty to say about Truth. We discussed how Jesus is the Truth and that He tells us the Truth, but on some subjects the Bible is silent or says little. There are some gray areas.
Nonetheless, we should strive to understand God's Will.
Today is an exercise in doing just that. You might be frustrated as we talk about some of these ideas, but keep focused and know that we are stretching and growing.
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
Each of the scenarios we discussed earlier are atually scriptural in nature. Let’s review them again, and then look up some Bible stories that are similar.
(You are hiding an innocent group of people in your home who are fleeing some gangsters. Gangster Leo knocks on your door, and when you open it, he asks if the group is in your house.)
This story is actually found in Joshua 2. It’s the story of Rahab and the spies.
Read Joshua 2:1-6
1. In what ways is this story the same? Different?
2. Did Rahab lie? Was it okay to lie in this case?
3. When is it okay to lie?
4. In Hebrews 11:31, Rahab is remembered as a hero, not a liar or a prostitue. If she lied, why is she honoered?
(You are passing through an impoverished country carrying a loarge amount of money. You know that if you are found with valuables, you will be killed and your valuables stolen. However, if you disquise your money in a worn-out backpack, you can get away with carrying it as you pass through.)
This story is similar to an account of Abraham’s life in Genesis 12:10-13.
Read Genesis 12:10-13
1. The cliché question of a wife asking a husband, “Do I look fat in this dress?” is actually a deep philosophical question. What makes an honest answer?
2. Is hiding the truth to save yourself ever okay?
3. What about if it will save others?
(You and a partner are working on a project at school. Your partner approaches you two days before the project is due and shows you that he has completed it on his own. The guidelines were that the two of you work on the project equally. He tells you not to worry about it and to just go along because "no one will ever know.")
A parallel story occurs in Genesis 39. Joseph and Potiphar’s wife aren’t working on a project together, but the Egyptian ruler’s wife does approach Joseph and ask him to forsake his responsibility and sleep with her. The reality is that no one probably would’ve found out. Joseph demands her to leave him alone and insists on being faithful to what his boss has asked him to do.
Read Genesis 39: 1-10
1. How is this different or similar to our scenario?
2. How can something be right or wrong, even when no one seems to get hurt either way?
3. It has been said that the true character of a person is shown when no one is looking. Do you agree?
MAKING IT REAL (5 minutes)
The bottom line in all of this is that there are some hard choices that we have to make. Next week we’ll shift from considering these Biblical accounts to some everyday choices you might find yourself making. For today, let’s pray that God will help us make wise choices. We also pray that we realize that He is our Standard of Truth.