Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Sunday School Lesson Recap: Becoming More Like Christ; or, Our Focus Should Be on Us, Not Others

The topic for this month is "Becoming More Like Christ". The lesson outline we discussed last Sunday was entitled "How Can I Help Others Be More Christlike?"

I started by asking the lesson title question. Some of the responses were:

Read the scriptures about Jesus with them.
Help them learn about prayer.
Show them that I love them, so they can begin to know that God loves them.
Invite them to come to church with me, so they can learn about Jesus there

I told them that those were good answers, but that, first, if we want to help others become like Jesus, we need to know Jesus ourselves - or, at least, know about him - and be striving to become more like him. The best way to teach someone else about becoming like Jesus is through example - showing them what it's like to become more like Jesus. They all understood that, so I then asked them how they can become more like Jesus.

After some discussion, we focused on gaining a better understanding of his actual life. I mentioned that there are other sources of information about him (particularly his pre- and post-mortal life), but I emphasized for the lesson the Gospels in the New Testament - since that is the only account we have of something that we can attempt to model in our own mortal lives. For the rest of the lesson, I had them open randomly to somewhere in the Gospels, read for a few minutes, then describe what they had read, one thing they took from those passages that taught them what Jesus was like and how they could become more like Jesus in that specific way.

What we discussed included:

Jesus taught that we need to be prepared for difficult times.
Jesus taught in parables and analogies.
Jesus blessed even people who were enemies of the Jews.
Jesus suffered in silence when it wouldn't have done any good to rail against people who were persecuting him. He had a lot of self-control.
Jesus grew and learned just like we need to grow and learn.
Jesus loved and helped outcasts in his society.

I told the students at the end of the lesson that we cannot become more like Jesus if we only study about him - that we have to take the things we learn about him and internalize them into our own lives. I told them it is better to know a little about Jesus and then actually live it than it is to know a whole lot about Jesus and not live any of it. I asked them to pick one thing about Jesus they admire and focus on getting better at that one thing - then, when they feel they have gotten better at that one thing to pick one more thing and repeat the process - and to do that for the rest of their lives. I told them that they can't become like Jesus overnight but that, if they work on it one thing at a time, relentlessly, that they will become as much like Jesus as it is possible for them to become by the time they die - and they will become a person who is becoming godly - and, given all eternity to learn and grow, they eventually will become like Jesus.

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