Attitude of Gratitude

Things you’ll need: A glass of water, paper crayons or markers, Bible

Faith Talk:

Half fill a glass of water and place it on the table. Give each child an index card with the phrase “The glass is half _______”. Ask them to complete the phrase. Once they have done so, go around and find out who wrote “full” and who wrote “empty”. Next, give each child a piece of paper and crayons. Ask them to draw a very large glass and color it half filled with water. Ask them to list or draw pictures of good things (toys, books, family, food, clothes, etc.) in the lower half of the glass WITH the water. In the top half WITHOUT water, have them write or draw things they would like to have such as more money, a new toy, a vacation to Disneyland, a special kind of cereal, or whatever else they can imagine.

Encourage dreaming and creativity. Read the following verses and discuss why it is important to be content regardless of what we do or do not have.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:69

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:1112

Also read Ephesians 5:20. Explain the practice of expressing thanks is one way we make our life “half full” instead of “half empty.” Thankfulness helps us focus on the blessings God has given rather than complain about the things we don’t have. Wrap up your time by giving the children a stack of index cards and have them go on a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt at home. List or draw as many things as possible for which they are thankful. Set a timer for 10 minutes to record each blessing. As you close, have the children pray a prayer of thanksgiving for each list. Encourage each other regularly to celebrate God’s blessings because an attitude of gratitude reflects a “full” heart. Memorize this jingle: “I’ll be content with what God sent!”