Aim to learn the meaning of the Golden Rule

* To learn the meaning of the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”
* To know how to put the Golden Rule into practice

* The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6: 27-35)
* Matthew 7:12 – “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
* Children’s Picture Bible, by Carol Watson
* Pictures to discuss
* Worksheet
* Bookmarks
* Golden Rule plaque outline, card, glue, coloured pencils, ribbon

Lesson Outline
1. Introduction
2. The Sermon on the Mount
3. The Golden Rule
4. Discussion
5. Activities – worksheet, bookmark, plaque, drama. applying the Golden Rule
6. Review the lesson
7. Prayer

1) Introduction
Jesus taught people rules that we should live by, so we can live a happy and good life. What rules do you think he talked about? There was one special rule called the Golden Rule. Do you know
what it is? This is what we will learn about today

2) The Sermon on the Mount
Jesus often went up into the hills around Galilee to teach people. One day, when there was a particularly large gathering, Jesus and his disciples went up on to a mountainside and sat down.
There he began to teach the disciples all about God, and how best to live their lives. What he said is now called the Sermon on the Mount. Here is part of it.

“The happiest people are those who realize just how much they need God, and ask Him every day to help, strengthen and forgive them,” said Jesus. “The Lord will bless those who are eager to do
what is right and turn away from their evil ways.” 
Jesus went on, “God is pleased with people who try to be kind and loving. He hates to see fighting and quarreling, and blesses those who try to make friends and keep peace in the world. One of the hardest things to do is to love and obey God when life is difficult and people bully and tease you for sticking to God’s rules. But God knows those who are true to him, and he will reward them greatly  in heaven.”

Jesus told the people that they were to be like salt and light. In those days, everyone used salt to stop meat and fish from going bad. God wanted his people to live their lives in a good, clean, and
pure way to set an example and stop the world from going bad. 
“You are the light of the world,” said Jesus. “If someone has a lamp they do not hide it away, but they put it on a stand so that people can see its light in the darkness all around. In this way, you
must shine like a light in the world and let everyone see your good deeds and the joy that you bring because you love God.” 
The crowds listened eagerly to everything Jesus said to them. No one had ever taught them about God in this way before. They knew the ten commandments, but Jesus was helping to explain the
law more clearly. 
“You know that God has forbidden anyone to murder,” said Jesus, “but God also knows what you are thinking. If you have wicked and angry thoughts against someone, it’s like committing murder, too.” Jesus went on. “So, before you worship the Lord and pray, make sure that you have mended any quarrels or forgiven those that have hurt you. No matter how hard you may find it, God wants his people to be loving and kind, and not full of hatred and bitterness.” 

“Some of you may think that if someone hits you, it’s all right to hit them back,” said Jesus. “But I tell you, God wants you to accept what they do to you, no matter what it is. Don’t strike back, but
love your enemies and try to do good to those who hate you. Give to everyone who asks from you, and do not demand it back. Remember, treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

3) The Golden Rule
At the time of Jesus most people thought if someone did something wrong to you, you should do the same back to them. This was called ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ So if someone hit you, you should hit them back. But Jesus said don’t hit back. He even said, “ if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Jesus’ challenged people to think in new ways.

The way we treat others is how people will treat us. If we show anger towards others they will give anger back to us. It only makes things worse. If we give love they will give love back. This is
the way God wants us to live.

The Golden Rule is a way to show love towards others. If someone is angry towards you give back love. If someone hates you, you give back love. Love is putting someone else first; taking
care of what they need before taking care of your needs, because others are as important as you are.

Look at the coloured pictures


4) Discussion
Look at the pictures to stimulate discussion

1.How do you want to be treated?
– you want to be respected
– you want people to listen to you when you talk
– you don’t want to be interrupted
– you want others to share things with you
– you want to be treated fairly
– you want people to be honest with you
– you want others to keep their promises

If we like these things from others, it is only natural that others would like us to treat them the same. That’s what the Golden Rule is about.
2. How do you feel when others let you pick first? – special, happy
3. How do you feel when other people won’t share with you? – unhappy, disliked
4. How does God feel when we treat each other nicely? – happy, pleased
5. How should I treat those who don’t like me? – the same as my friends
6. In what ways can you treat others “like yourself”? – share the best of what I have, let them go first, treat them politely and kindly, help when needed
7. Who should we show kindness to? – everyone
8. Why should we treat others well? – this is what Jesus taught, it makes others happy, people will like us, how we treat others will come back to us
9. How do we know how to treat others? – do what we would like done to us

5) Activities
* Worksheet – Draw a picture of someone applying the “golden rule” and write the words ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’

‘Golden Rule’ Plaque
1. Color and cut out the pattern.
2. Glue it on the cardboard. Cut it out again.
3. Punch out the holes as indicated.
4. Thread ribbon through the holes and tie a bow.

‘Golden Rule’ Bookmark
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
1. Colour the bookmark pattern, 
2. Stick it onto card,
3. Cut it out
4. Laminate it.

* Drama – Act out the following scenes, with both the right and wrong responses.
– A fellow student makes fun of your outfit in the lunch line. How do you handle it?
– You and a friend are telling your parents about your school trip. Your friend interrupted you and took over the story. He’s leaving out parts. What do you do?
– You know someone who lies all the time. One day she asks you if you can help her with a project on Friday. You know for a fact you could, but you’d rather not. How to you respond?

* Applying the ‘Golden Rule’
– Think about how you like to be treated. Now choose one person you will make an effort to treat like this in the coming week.
– Think of something you can do this week for someone you don’t like

6) Review the Lesson
What can we learn from this lesson? Review the aims.
* To learn the meaning of the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (treat others as we want to be treated)
* To know how to put the Golden Rule into practice

7) End with a Prayer