Trustworthiness includes honesty, reliability, loyalty, doing the right things, maintaining confidentiality and having a good reputation, according to the character education program, “Character Counts!” a program used by many school districts to instill character in students. If you're working with kids in your church, you can teach trustworthiness through activities that look at what the Bible says about trustworthiness.
The Bible contains many scriptures about the trustworthiness of God, such as Psalms 55:23, Isaiah 26:4 and Romans 10:11, which promise God’s eternal presence and help. Babies learn trust by having their parents meet their needs, according to the AskDrSears website. A parent's job modeling trust never ends. Ask the kids at church, “How do your parents model trust? Does their trustworthiness affect how you trust God?” You could also ask, “Do you trust God to keep his promises? How does this affect your Christian walk?” Have students make a list of ways they can model trust, such as keeping promises and being honest. Alternatively, they can make a list of how God has proven to be trustworthy, such as keeping his promises and responding to cries for help.
As with trust, parents must model honesty. In Exodus 20:15-16. The eighth and ninth commandments tell you not to steal or lie. God does not lie, as noted in Numbers 23:19 and Romans 3:4. Have the kids read Genesis 17:1-18:15. Sarah and Abraham had trouble believing God’s promise, but God doesn’t lie. Ask students, “What Bible promises make you glad that God keeps his promises?” Have the students write each promise on a 2-by-6-inch piece of paper. Make a chain with the Bible promises, and hang it in the Sunday school class to remind students to trust God’s promises. Promises kids list might include the promise of a Savior or promises of healing and provision. Students can also read Matthew 5:33-37, where Jesus teaches about keeping your promises. Have them consider, "How many times can a person break a promise before you decide not to trust them?" Have kids write a covenant together to be trustworthy. The covenant could include items such as always telling the truth, keeping promises, maintain confidentiality and respecting the property of others.
Read Psalm 1 and ask the church kids, “Why should you make morally right choices? How do you know what is right?” In Proverbs 1:10-19 Solomon wrote not to hang out with evil doers because they might entice you to hurt others for fun, steal or kill. Read Matthew 7:12, the Golden Rule, and have your students talk about how this affects the way they should treat others. You can give them scenarios and have them decide what is the right choice, such as seeing someone cheating on a test or taking money from the collection plate. Ask students, “How does following the Golden Rule make you trustworthy?” Correct answers could include, because you will treat others the way you hope others will treat you and you will consider how your actions affect others.
Confidentiality and Gossip
Kids never share important personal information with someone who violates their confidence by gossiping with the information. Proverbs 11:13 says that a trustworthy person keeps secrets. Ask the kids, “Have you ever had someone gossip about you or betray your confidence?” Kids can talk about the importance of maintaining confidentiality and when it's necessary to tell a teacher or pastor what has been shared. Have kids sign a pledge that, “What’s said here, stays here.” Post the pledges in the room.
- Palm Beach Schools: Character Counts -- Trustworthiness
- SDSU Cooperative Extension Service: Character Counts! Trustworthiness -- Activity Quickies
- Friendswood Independent School District: Character Counts! Trustworthiness Activities
- Ask Dr. Sears: 10 Tips To Help Fathers Become Disciplinarians
- Ask Dr Sears: 11 Ways To Raise a Truthful Child
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