Bible: Philippians 1:11 (NLT) 

Bottom Line: Your actions demonstrate your true character.


●      2 Handheld mirrors

●      List of expressions (listed below)

●      Paper and pencil 


Divide students into two teams of equal size and have them form straight lines. 

Have a leader stand up front with the list of expressions.

Choose someone to keep score throughout the game.


  • Sad turtle
  • Angry baby
  • Surprised cat
  • Embarrassed rabbit
  • Exhausted cow
  • Confused frog
  • Bored fish
  • Confident chicken
  • Happy grandma
  • Frightened monkey
  • Guilty teenager
  • Suspicious bear


Say: We’re about to play a fun game that’s all about expressions.

As we start our game, I’m going to ask one person from each team to come forward.

I will give each person a mirror to hold in front of their face.

Next, I will read an expression for you to display. 

For example, I might say, “funny bird.”

You will look into your mirror and practice making a “funny bird” face.

Then, I will count "3-2-1," and you will pull your mirror down from in front of your face and look directly at each other.

The goal is to be the last person to break from your expression and earn a point from your team.

If you laugh or change your expression, then the other team will earn a point.

After everyone has taken a turn, we will tally the points and find out which team has the most points.

After the game, have the students return to their seats.


Say: You definitely demonstrated your ability to show expression… some of you are real characters!

Being a character is different than having character.

Ask: What does it mean when someone has “bad” character?

What does “good” character look like?

Allow a few responses from students.

Your “character” is who you are on the inside - your morals, and the qualities that guide the decisions you make and your behaviors.

It’s easy to observe each other’s facial expressions, but it’s also easy to recognize someone’s character.

Ask: So, how would you describe your character?

Here are some words to get you started: honest, loyal, brave, stubborn, humble, responsible, compassionate…

Would others describe you the same way?

Allow a few responses from students after each question.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” 

Say: Tell me what you think Abraham Lincoln was trying to say about a person’s character.

Allow a few responses from students.

Here’s what the Bible has to say about our character…

Read Philippians 1:11.

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produces in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Ask: Do you think someone can have good character if they don’t follow Jesus?

Why or why not?

Allow a few responses from students.

If you don’t follow God, you could still have good, even great character, but it wouldn’t be righteous – meaning that it brings glory to God.

Most people have a “public face” and a “private face.”

Think about the game we played… that was an example of your public face - it was what you wanted everyone to see.

Hopefully, that face was different than what you were trying to keep under control and hidden, which represents your private face.

Each of us have things we have done, or thoughts we have had, that would cause us to be embarrassed or ashamed if they were on display for everyone to see.

When we seek after God, those things should become less, and He should become more evident in our actions.

So, what can we do to help our “private face” match our “public face”?

We can start with being aware of the things that are influencing us and think about these questions:

  • Do those around me have the kind of character I want to possess in my life?
  • Am I negatively influenced by other people or do I demonstrate strong character that influences others?
  • What actions am I taking to allow God to affect my character? Do I spend time study the Bible and learning from others who have good character traits?

While you can’t always control who the people are in your life, you can decide how you will let their character impact yours.

It’s important to desire “righteous character.”

Ask: What does it mean to have “righteous character”?

Allow a few responses from students.

To have righteous character means that you are becoming more like God - in your words, thoughts and actions.

The righteousness of God is created in you as you grow in your relationship with Him.

In the Bible, we read about men and women who made good and bad choices based on their character.

In the New Testament, we read that Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples betrayed Him for a bag of silver coins.

Judas lied, he was sneaky and conniving, and his poor choices lead to Jesus’ death, and his own death as well.

We also read about Peter – a man who often reacted irrationally and then had to repent for his actions.

But as he followed after God, he became more like Him and less like himself.

Peter allowed God to help his character become more righteous.

Your character is a representation of the individual choices and decisions you make every day.

You will make mistakes, and at some point, even demonstrate bad character qualities.

Don’t become discouraged by your poor choices, but realize that God is working in your life and He will never give up on you.

And as you seek God, your actions will become more like His and less like your old ways.

Then, your actions will demonstrate the character of someone who desires to bring glory to God through the way they live.

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