Lesson 1: Drinking—Beat the Temptation
Drinking—Beat the Temptation
Life Issue: Alcohol
Bible Passages: 2 Samuel 11:12-13; Romans 6:12-13; Ephes. 5:18
Central Bible Truth: You can abstain from alcohol with God's power.
Teaching Aim: To lead youth to identify reasons they are tempted to drink alcohol and discover basic biblical principles for choosing to abstain from alcohol.
1. Pressures at School
(10 min.) As youth arrive, ask them to write on a large sheet of paper, pressures that encourage or entice their friends to drink. Ask them to list on another large sheet of paper some of the consequences of drinking. As a group, go over some of the responses written on both sheets, make needed clarifications, add more responses, and allow youth to comment on any of the responses. Keep the responses short, for you will be addressing them in depth later in the session.
(Special Note for the Leader: This is an emotional issue that is right where your youth are. Your youth may be wrestling with the issue for themselves or a friend. This may lead to "rabbit-chasing" and could lead in emotional arguments and frustration. You will have to be sensitive to beginning, directing, and concluding the study. Youth want to have some clear directives of right and wrong in a nonthreatening but honest manner.)
2. Teenage Drinking Stats
(5 min.) Present the following statistics concerning teenage drinking.
1. A minimum of eight million teenagers drink alcohol every week and nearly half a million go on a weekly binge, which is five drinks in a row.
2. The average binge drinker is 16, white, male, and in the tenth grade.
3. Junior and senior high students drink 35 percent of all wine coolers sold annually and 1.1 billion cans of beer.
4. Two thirds of teenagers who drink can walk into a store and buy alcohol.
After making your presentation of these statistics to the teenagers, call for them to discuss whether or not they believe these facts to be true in their schools.
3. Feelings About Drinking
(10 min.) In an honest, but nonthreatening manner, call for youth to discuss how they feel about drinking. (The responses will probably range from total abstinence to, "It's normal to drink; Everyone does it or has done it.") During this time, don't be judgmental, but be sensitive to allow for some controlled discussion.
4. The Bible Speaks
(15 min.) Ask volunteers to read aloud 2 Samuel 11:12-13; Romans 6:12-13; and Ephes. 5:18. Then allow the youth to share what these verses say to a teenager feeling the pressure to drink.
Ask a volunteer to read aloud Proverbs 20:1. Ask: What does "wine is a mocker" mean? How does drinking give you unreal pictures of what is happening around you? Explain to youth that to "mock" is to give an illusion of what is not really there. Call for teenagers to discuss what Proverbs 20:1 says to us today.
Ask another youth to reread aloud Romans 6:12-13. Ask: Why is it wrong to be a part of something that is a sin? How can drinking make you a slave to sin? (Possible answers: by leading you to a "drinking binge" or to becoming an alcoholic.)
Reread aloud Ephes. 5:18. Ask the youth to look at the verses preceding it and to identify why Paul felt that this was an important statement to make. Point out that we as Christians are to be witnesses in how we live so that others may come to know Christ.
Ask teenagers to name any other Scripture verses they know related to this issue?
5. Setting Limits
(10 min.) Ask teenagers to name some ways to stand against the pressures that they wrote in step 1. Ask: What are some limits that you may put on yourself as far as times, activities, and friends? What are some ways to get out of a rough situation? (This may be a good time to share with youth that if they are in a situation, like a party, etc., that you or other youth workers or parents could be called upon to help in any way, such as providing a ride home, being someone to talk to, or offering needed support.)
6. Setting My Standards
(5 min.) Give each youth a pencil and a copy of "My Standards" (handout). Direct them to work individually to complete this handout that is labeled with these incomplete statements:
1. My standards on drinking are:
2. My reasons for these standards are:
3. These Scripture verses help me to know and understand the importance of abstaining from alcohol:
4. I know I can go to these persons for help related to abstaining from alcohol:
5. In relationship to abstaining from alcohol, I need to be cautious of these people, places, or situations:
When youth have completed these statements, ask: Where can you get the power to abstain from alcohol? Emphasize the importance of teens relying on God's power as they follow biblical principles in choosing to abstain from alcohol.
7. Fellowship and Worship
(5 min.) Conclude in a time of worship that focuses on singing and praying. Begin by leading youth to sing a favorite song related to God being the answer for life's problems. Then lead in a time of silent prayer. As you pray, mention the topic of abstaining from alcohol and give youth time to pray in relationship to that. Direct youth to pray for: their own lives and standards; for friends who are setting their standards related to drinking; for friends who are experimenting with alcohol; and for friends and family members who have problems with drinking.
As you conclude this time of worship, reemphasize the biblical standard of abstinence. Stress the fact that when God gives a directive, He always gives the power to obey.