This teen Bible study lesson is perfect for addressing the topics of drugs, alcohol, and temptation–and how your youth ministry students can avoid and resist them.
Cokeheads, Drunks, Stoners (and the Psychology of Stooping So Low) Teen Lesson Capsule
Kids in high school face a myriad of temptations weekly, often daily, and there is nothing in adult life that will ever compare to this. Fortunately the phase will pass, but not without a hefty price on many a young person’s head that can remain plastered there for decades. This teen Bible study lesson starts at the beginning, explaining these behaviors and using candy to provide a great assimilation of real temptation. Sometimes it helps if teenagers can “take a step back” and see the behavior from the outside, then call on God to give them endurance, persistence, and a better self-esteem. Our use of M&Ms as temptations and bigger candy as rewards will let them know that we–and God–understand what they’re up against.
Youth Ministry Activity Materials
• Small bag of M&Ms
• Large bag of the types of candy all students like, enough for everyone to have some
• Paper plate
• Six sheets of printer paper
Teen Bible Study Lesson and Activity
1. Open the small bag of M&Ms and put them on a plate.
2. Hide the large bag of candy, making sure no students have seen it!
3. Write on six different sheets the three challenges and the three answers found IN CAPS in Part 2 of this lesson (to be posted on August 28th).
Who likes chocolate? (Find a volunteer who really likes chocolate and have him sit at the head of the table. Put the plate of M&Ms in front of him, then have him push his chair back so that he is resting his chin on the table. Have the M&M plate pushed right up under his nose.)
Whatever you do, [Volunteer], I do not want you to take one of those M&Mʼs, under any circumstances. Do you think you can do that? If you promise to do that, I will reward you later. And you donʼt know when. It may be a few minutes from now; it may be a week from now; it may be a year from now. Do you trust me and believe me?
(Donʼt worry about the studentʼs response. If he is noncompliant and eats some, that can be used to show how hard it is to resist temptation and how sometimes we fail. If he complies, he moves you along.) This is what your lives are like, what with the temptations you face either in school or from the people who you met there. Weekends can be tough, canʼt they? What happens at parties? People drink, thereʼs marijuana, and people look for places to make out.
There are teenagers who donʼt act like that. But let me raise a difficult question: How many of those who are “on the straight and narrow” are there for lack of options? How many would go wild and crazy if they had the invitations and opportunities? Probably a lot more. Certain truths we hold to be self-evident: God does not want you to waste these years. He doesnʼt want you to get trapped or lose your joy.
I have a couple things that can help. First is knowledge. Sometimes if we understand why people do things, it helps us to not want to be another statistic. You can look at others who are damaging themselves and their spirits and say, “Oh yeah. Thatʼs the process of ʻdifferentiationʼ at its worst.” Second is…(Move up to the student who is staring at the plate of M&Mʼs. Pull it away. Put it out of everyoneʼs reach.)…the Power of God, which is able to keep you free from bondage under any circumstances. Does God eliminate temptations? No. Not entirely. But he is able to keep them from stealing your freedom. Why is it good to have some temptations?
(They may not know the answer to this. It is as follows:)
Many strong Christians say that youʼre not moving toward greatness until youʼve had to actually choose away from evil. Resisting temptations can end up giving you a lot of confidence. Why do kids party recklessly and get into unhealthy romances?
On Tuesday, August 28th, Part 2 of this lesson will be posted. You’ll get to supply your teen Bible study students with some reasons for why teenagers party recklessly and get into unhealthy relationships and romances. You’ll also get to provide your students with ways to combat those reasons.
For the time being, what do you think about this teen Bible study lesson? Is it something that you believe should be addressed with your students who are young adults?