Youth Group Lesson on Temptation

Now that Thomas has entered the compound, he’s determined to find a way out but soon discovers that escaping may be more difficult than he ever imagined. The movie is based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

The events that take place in the movie The Maze Runner are similar to what takes place as we enter the mazes of our lives. There is only one way out, and it is through the twists, turns and winding roads of choices we are destined to make. We will inevitably run into Grievers, which are temptations, and it’s up to us to figure out how to overcome them.

The good news for us is that we have a map or blueprint that helps us along the way. It is the word of God, and our way out is through Jesus Christ, who gives us the power to overcome every temptation.

Spoiler alert: In the movie, Thomas and several other boys did eventually find a secret compartment called the Map Room in the center of the maze that had cryptic messages written on stacks and stacks of papers. After sorting through the piles of secret messages and learning how to get past the Grievers, a few of the teenagers were able to flee the horrifying snare of the maze. They successfully made it through, conquering the Grievers (the temptations), once and for all.

Everyday Mazes

Have you ever been tempted to do something that you knew was wrong? Have you ever experienced the anxiety that comes along with a tempting thought? It’s like you feel excited and scared at the same time.

Your heart beats fast and your mind is racing while you’re trying to decide whether or not to do whatever it is.

Let’s just say you’re at school, walking down the hallway. It’s crowded with hundreds of students going from one class to the next. You see a young lady in front of you drop a $20.00 bill.

No one else seems to notice, so you quickly pick up the money. And in that instant, you have to make a decision.

Do you catch up with the girl who dropped it, or slide it into your own pocket and pretend that nothing happened? Tempting, huh?

Or what do you do when your favorite TV show goes off one Friday night and you realize that you’re not sleepy?

As you’re scrolling through the channels looking for another movie to watch, you run across advertisements with adult content. No one is in your bedroom except you, so do you stop and watch the commercial or keep going?

Your heart beats fast (which is a common reaction to temptation) and there’s a curiosity inside of you that says, “Just look at it. You’re not doing anything wrong by watching a silly old commercial …”

This is what I call temptation 101, a class that many people fail. It’s easy to do the right thing when people are looking at you, but how do you handle the test when no one is around?

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Temptation (which can also be described as a test) comes when we are faced with the choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Temptations are a part of life, but God is faithful and will always help us to overcome them.

Now what does the scripture in 1 Corinthians mean by no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind?

It simply means that everyone is tempted to do wrong because we are human, and it’s in our human (fallen) nature to desire sinful things.

And by everyone, I mean everyone. You, me, our parents, people at your school, the pastors at our churches, the president of the United States, everyone!

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:19 (NLT)

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 

Note: You might want to not read “sexual immorality” phrase when reading it to preteens.

What are the temptations that are common (or familiar) to mankind? These are things that are contrary to God’s word that every human being may be tempted to do at some point in life.

They are the lusts of our flesh, which can be found in the scripture above. The interesting thing about these common temptations is that they can be appealing, and sometimes even fun (in the beginning).

For whatever reason, it often feels exciting or adventurous to do something that you shouldn’t do. That’s what makes it so tempting.

If you’re with a group of friends who decide to go to Dairy Queen for some ice cream sundaes, that’s fun isn’t it?

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ndiliberto@churchleaders.com'
Over twelve years ago Nick Diliberto lauched a preteen ministry with a handful of volunteers and about 25 kids. Over the years it grew to over 100 kids and has impacted hundreds of young people's lives. Nick is the driving force behind PreteenMinistry.net, Children's Director at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, workshop speaker and author of an ongoing preteen column in Children's Ministry Magazine.