Truth or Dare (Part 2)

Lesson 6: The Truth About Words

Lessons in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Overview Lesson Index

Lesson Workbook Click here


1. To convince students that their words matter
2. To illustrate from the Scriptures that gossip is a sin
3. To motivate students to control their tongues


Discernment, Humility, Influence, Purity, Reputation, Responsibility

Scripture Memorization

James 1:26

OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)

GROUP BUILDING (15 minutes)

(Start out with some mindless fun. Lots of little games can be played with the tongue. Try out these or another you already know.)

Who can touch their tongue to their nose? (Make everyone try.)
Can anyone fold his or her tongue? Who can make the most folds? (I’ve seen some people who can make several angles in their tongues)

We can do some pretty silly stuff with our tongues. But when the Bible talks about our tongue, it’s not fun and games.

GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)

There are a few ways that we use our tongues that we need to examine. As you can imagine, they all have to do with words. Today, we’re going to talk about the truth about words.

General Discussion:
• What are some negative uses of our words? (Allow students to come up with several examples, such as gossip, lying, filthy language, etc.)
• Have you experienced hurtful words in your life?

You’re beginning to get the idea that a tongue is serious business, and it is related to our spiritual lives in a significant way. Let’s go deeper and see how.

DIGGING IN (30 minutes)

Read James 1:26

Discussion Question:
1. What does this passage say about the tongue and our ability to control it? (To not control it makes our religion worthless.)

Let's look at an even more condemming Scripture.

Read James 3:5-8

Discussion Question:
1. What does that passage say about the tongue?

Let’s talk about gossip first.

General Discussion:
• How would you define gossip?
• Do you like it when people gossip about you?
• Be honest with yourself before we continue—how much do you gossip?

Some people think only girls gossip. Others don’t realize that they are also horrible gossips. Most people don’t understand that gossiping is condemned in Scripture.

(Have several students look up one of the following passages. After each student has read a Scripture, ask the discussion questions below.)

Proverbs 11:13
Proverbs 16:28
Proverbs 18:8
Proverbs 20:19
Proverbs 26:20
Proverbs 26:22
2 Corinthians 12:20

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think these Scriptures say about gossip? (Avoid those who gossip, etc.) 
2. Should we participate in gossip? Why or why not? (No, because it causes strife, separates friends, etc.)

General Discussion:
•  Do you ever consider the words you use before you use them?
•  What do you think words can say about a person?
•  Have you ever experienced the affects of gossip in your life? (Allow for discussion. If you need to get them started, share a time when gossip separated you from a friend. Who knows, there might even be issues within your group and this could be an opportunity for healing.)

Gossip isn’t the only way our words can hurt others or be sinful. We also need to talk about our language choices, too.

(Have students look up one of the following passages.)

Proverbs 12:18
Colossians 3:8
Romans 3:12-14

Discussion Questions:
1. What do these passages say about our words?
2. Should a Christian use filthy language? Why or why not?
3. Proverbs says our “reckless words” are a like a sword. What does that mean to you?
4. Are there other things a Christian should never say?  What?

We as believers in Jesus should not gossip. We should know that our words are serious, that we shouldn’t use filthy language, or take lightly the impact of what we say on others. In addition, the Bible also advises us to monitor the quantity of our words.

(Divide up the following set of Scriptures. This might be the most scary set of all!)

Proverbs 10:19
Ecclesiastes 5:2
Ecclesiastes 6:11

Discussion Questions:
1. What do these Scriptures say about our words?
2. Why do you think the amount of words we use matters?  

Read James 3:5 (again)

Discussion Question:
1. How does this summarize our discussion of words and the tongue. (As we studied, words carry a lot of weight.)

MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)

The truth is, controlling our tongues is a responsibility we should take very seriously. Hateful words, filthy words, and gossip are all condemned. We have all probably experienced one form of an uncontrolled tongue at some point. There are things we should just never say. I think we know that. However, there are some ways that we can use our words positively. When we do that, they have just as much power.

Read Proverbs 12:18 and Proverbs 16:21

Discussion Question:
1. What are some ways we can use our words for good? (Compliments, encouragement, etc.)

If words can be used for good or bad, it is obvious that the right way to use our words is for good. You probably all have word habits that you need to fix. Consider the words you use:

Do you use filthy language?
Do you swear or use other offensive language?
Do you say things about others that are not true?
Do you share secrets about others that they would not want you to share?
Do you insult others or act hatefully towards others?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these, you need to be sure you examine how you use your words and pray that God will help you overcome those habits.

Workbook  Activity 

Consider your words.

Pass out some paper and pens. Encourage students to write down the greatest struggle they have with words. Perhaps they lie a lot or use dirty language. Maybe they’re gossips or cuss a lot. Have them write down their struggle and fold it up. Let them know that no one else will see what they wrote.

CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)

We’re going to pray over these struggles you’ve just written. Pass your paper to the person on your
right. Your classmate won’t see your struggle, but he or she will pray for you. As you receive a piece of paper from someone on your left, just hold your classmate’s paper between your hands and pray. Pray that God gives your classmate the wisdom of how to use words, the strength to overcome the struggle written on the paper, and the encouragement to do so.

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