From a Good News Club teacher.
As a club teacher I had to teach a lesson about forgiveness to a group of children, but coming from an abusive past, I struggle with forgiveness. How can I teach forgiveness to children when I have a difficult time forgiving people who have deeply hurt me? As I walked up to the front of the classroom to arrange my lesson materials, another teacher approached me. “I am so glad you’re teaching this lesson!” she exclaimed. “Several of us need to hear this.”
I began tearing up. “I’m not so sure I can. I don’t know how to do this. I’m not even sure I fully understand what forgiveness means or how to do this.”
She put a hand on my shoulder. “I know this is difficult. Listen, if you prefer to teach a different Bible lesson, that’s fine.” But I didn’t feel as if I could do that, either. I couldn’t shake the idea that God wanted me to teach this lesson. Just then, my co-teacher pointed across the room. “Those two boys are in tears. Would you mind talking to them?”
I walked over to the two boys in question. “What’s going on, guys?”
Ben (all names have been changed) choked out through his tears, “Duane, our best friend, just told us that his family is moving to another state. We love him so much, and we’ll never see him again.” He began sobbing. I let the boys cry for a while, then encouraged them to talk to God, telling Him how he felt and asking Him to help Duane settle into his new home.
Suddenly I realized it was time to teach the Bible lesson, and I still had no idea what I was going to do. Praying silently for help, I stood up in front of the children and told them a story of someone who had hurt me a long time ago. “What do you think, kids?” I asked. “Does that person deserve forgiveness?” After the kids offered various answers, I continued. “The truth is, no one deserves to be forgiven. But God wants us to trust Him to be the one to make it right when others do wrong. God always knows the best way to make things right.” At the end of the lesson, I explained the Gospel. “You can only forgive if you have experienced God’s forgiveness. Would you like Him to forgive your sin problem?”
I was amazed when Ben was one of the children who approached me afterward. “I want God to forgive me and be my friend who will never leave”
Shortly after that, two of my co-teachers came up to me. “Thank you so much for teaching that lesson; God really used that in our lives, as well! Forgiveness is something you never stop learning, no matter how old you are.”