Rotten fruit and good fruit
In this kick-off craft activity, you’ll help your children make a poster with two trees on it. One tree will represent pride and the other will represent humility. This is a long activity so you may want to work on your trees over the course of a few days or just pick a few applicable “fruit” (character traits) to discuss with your children.
Since human nature is sinful or “rotten,” you’ll begin with negative character traits. Throughout your study on humility, you’ll be working toward replacing prideful thoughts and actions with humble attitudes.
You will need
~A3 poster paper – or 2 A4 sheets
~wool (for roots) or you can draw them
~felt, wool, crepe paper -anything green and fluffy for grass or you can draw it
~brown paper for tree trunks and branches or a brown felt tip to colour them
~pre-cut coloured shapes for fruit (“rotten” and “fresh”)
What to do
- Draw or make 2 trees on the poster paper
- At the base of one tree, write “pride.” For pre-readers, it’s helpful to replace the “I” in pride with an illustration of a human eye.
- Explain that the “I” in “pride” stands for living life as if it’s “all about me!” A proud person thinks and says things like, “I’m the best;” “I know everything;” “I am more important than you.” Remind your children that what we do comes from what we think. The “fruit” in our lives is our actions. Just like a tree grows fruit from the water and food that comes from the tree’s roots, the way we act is rooted or based on what we believe.
- Read through the verses provided on the Pride chart and have your children listen for and name the “rotten fruit” that is mentioned.
- Once your children have identified the sinful behaviour, write it on a pre-cut rotten fruit shape and glue it on the tree marked “pride.” See if your children can identify prideful “root” thoughts and possible resulting actions that might be associated with each rotten fruit.
- As you work through each verse, name each sinful fruit and continue to add more “rotten fruit” to your tree.
- Read Revelation 3:15-16 together. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Now use the discussion questions to transition into adding fruit to the second tree.
|Name of fruit
|Mark 9:33-35 “They came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ ”
|“I‘m more important than you.”
|Insisting on being first. Wanting the best for oneself.
|Proverbs 28:25 “The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.”
|“I deserve to have everything my way.”
|Refusing to share with others.
|Psalm 36:1b-2 “There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.”
|“I never do anything wrong.”
|Refusing to say, “I’m sorry” and unwilling to ask forgiveness.
|1 John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
|Refusing to admit faults or wrongdoing.
|Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
|“I’m better than you.”
|Overly upset when losing at a game.
|Proverbs 27:2 “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” Matthew 23:12 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
|“I’m the best.”
|Bragging about how wonderful you are.
|Proverbs 12:15 “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
|“I know everything.”
|Refusing to take advice or being unwilling to listen to others.
- Would you eat a rotten banana? (Ideally you will have an over-ripe piece of fruit to offer your children.)
- If you got a chunk of this fruit in your mouth by mistake, what would you want to do?
- How do you think God feels when He sees us with rotten attitudes?
- Do you enjoy being around people who _______________________? (Name an attitude or action from the tree of rotten fruit.)
What to do next
Now begin to make the “humility tree.” Draw a crown at the base of the tree and tell your children that the person who owns this tree believes that Jesus is King.
Explain that when we believe that Jesus is King, it changes the way we think and act! Read through the Bible verses listed in the Humility chart and have your children name the “Jesus-honouring fruit” that is mentioned in the verse. As your children share their ideas for this good fruit, have them choose “fresh” fruit cut-outs to hang on the humility tree.
|Name of fruit
|1 Corinthians 10:24 “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
|“We are all important to God.”
|Willing to let others go first.
|Acts 20:35b “. . . Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
|“God wants us to share His love with each other.”
|Willing to share with others.
|James 5:16a “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Willing to admit and confess sin
|“Sometimes I sin or do wrong.” “I sometimes make mistakes.”
|Willing to admit faults. Willing to say, “I’m sorry” and ask forgiveness.
|Colossians 3:13-14 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
|“No one is perfect. God forgives me and I should forgive others.”
|Lets little things slide instead of getting upset with others.
|Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
|Choosing to live in peace or harmony
|“Life is more fun when we choose to get along.”
|Politely accepts winning. Loses without whining.
|Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
|“I still have a lot to learn.”
|Being willing to accept advice and listen to constructive comments.
More Discussion Questions
- Which person would you like to have as a friend: someone who grows fresh fruit or someone who grows rotten fruit?
- Which kind of fruit do you want to grow in your life?
- If we don’t have Jesus’ love in our hearts, what kind of fruit are we more likely to have?
- Who can help us grow fresh fruit?
Remind your children that, if we don’t have Jesus’ help, our sinful human natures will lead us to grow “rotten fruit.” If we want to produce “Jesus fruit,” then we need to ask His Holy Spirit to live in us and help us to live and love others like Jesus did. When we do grow Jesus fruit, God is pleased and others find us much more pleasant to be around.
Let your children know that you will be watching for Jesus fruit in their lives. When you notice some “fresh fruit,” instruct that child to pick one piece of rotten fruit off the tree and put a fresh fruit on the other tree instead. The goal is to get all the rotten fruit picked off and replaced with fresh fruit
Pray with your children and ask the Holy Spirit to wash any pride out of your hearts and your home so that your family can grow Jesus fruit.
Write your memory verse of the week on the poster. During the time you are studying humility, you can refer to the fruit trees as a tool for discussing both positive and negative behaviours and attitudes. Each time you visit your tree to check on your fruit, you can also review your memory verse.