What is idolatry?
Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened… They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” – Romans 1:21, 25
Help children understand what idolatry is. It’s loving something in the created world more than God, the Creator. Children will learn that we can be tempted to love and treasure earthly things more than God.
Outline for lesson
- Open in prayer: Help me to worship You above worthless idols. Help me to find my joy in You alone.
- Review Activity: Write numbers 1 – 16 on individual index cards and the first word to the question that corresponds to that question. See if the children can say the rest of the question and answer. Question is worth 1 point, Question and answer is worth 3 points. See how many points they can get as a team.
- Introduction: Use the Q17 Thought Bubble and markers. Ask children what they daydream about often. Write or draw their answers in the thought bubbles. Do they dream about their future, things they would like to buy, certain people, etc.? After bubbles are completed, tell them that sometimes our daydreams can reveal something about our hearts. Introduce question 17. An idol is something that takes the place of God in our lives. We can look to it for joy and satisfaction instead of our God. We all have idols and may not even know it. Things or idols are not bad. They can become bad when we are tempted to love and trust it more that God. That’s when they are harmful to us.
- Activity: Make a grid 4×3. Put one of these words into each square: Money, Adventure, Toys, Food, Popularity, Happiness, Romance, Friends, Good Grades, Technology, Fashion, Sports. Give each child 12 coins, or small pieces of paper, use anything as markers. Read each word aloud and if the child feels like this is important to them let them place a marker on top of the word. Explain that none of these are bad. It will cause a problem when these things take the place of God in our lives. God should always be #1 in our lives. Which do you love more?
- Read: Romans 1:18-23. Ask them to summarize the verses. Paul tells the Romans that God is angry. He sees people who don’t honor Him, who don’t love one another and who deny God’s existence – despite the fact that there is plenty of evidence in the world that points out the existence of a great Creator God. God says that people that worship idols rather than God are foolish. God is loving but wants us to have him as #1 in our lives. Let’s examine our hearts. Have we put anything before God in our lives? Pray for repentance and a renewed heart.
- Recite: practice memorizing question and answer to lesson 17.