Self discipline can be a challenging thing and this week there are lots of videos and songs and pieces of advice to help us with these difficulties.
Our Music Resource shares some advice from the Cookie Monster about how to show some more self control and highlights some of thoughts that we have running through our head when we have to be more controlled.
In our Picture Resource we will see and hear from Saint Basil the Great who advises us to take self-discipline step by step and not to try to cut everything out all at once!
This week’s Action is all about getting yourselves moving and showing some good examples of self-discipline to others and the Video Resource helps us to think about the positive rewards that we may receive if we show self-discipline.
Finally, in the Scripture Resource there is some advice from St Paul to a young bishop called Timothy who wasn’t quite sure that he could do the job that had been asked of him.
Throughout the week think about how you could be more self-disciplined and what you could give up and fast from during Lent.
If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.
Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!
If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!
Click here for the Music Resource
There can be all kinds of reasons for doing this, it could be about being healthy, it could be about self-control or it could be linked with your fasting during Lent.
This week’s song shows some of the struggles and difficulties to do with self discipline. We are going to hear from the Cookie Monster himself – can he show some self-discipline?! Let’s find out….!
If you do not want subtitles to show then go to the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and click the “CC” icon which will remove the subtitles.
Do you think self-control is a good thing?
When can self-control be useful?
What helps you to calm down and get some self-discipline in a situation?
Fasting and showing control are not easy things to do but when we think of the control that Jesus had to resist all of the temptations that he faced in the desert (Matthew 4: 1-11) it gives us the inspiration that we need to keep going and to try to be more like Jesus.
What could you try to give up during Lent?
Please give us the control and determination to do the right thing.
Click here for the Picture Resource
He had some wise words to say about self-discipline.
St Basil the Great
St Basil’s Letters and Select works, Letter XLII, Christian Classics Ethereal Library
What do you think St Basil means by his words?
What is St Basil’s advice on cutting out the things that distract us in our lives?
How do the words of St Basil link with this scripture from the second letter of St Peter?
For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love.
2 Peter 1: 5-7
What helps you when you are giving something up or fasting?
Lent can be very difficult because it is a time when we give up things that distract us and fast from things so that we can make more room to give to others.
Try to support each other as you journey through Lent and try to keep going even if you make a mistake along the way. As St Peter describes, we can build upon our faith every day so that we can become more like Christ.
Please give us strength and self discipline as we make our journey through Lent.
Click here for the Action
Look out for some actions that are not so cool – spot the examples where the children do not show self-discipline and be ready to share your answers at the end.
Now you have spotted what went wrong it is your chance to prepare some good examples of how self-discipline should look!
You could use the examples from the video but show the right way to achieve self-discipline or, you could make up some examples of your own.
If you have time, film some of your examples and put together a self-discipline video of your own!
Click here for the Video Resource
Imagine you are sat in a room alone with one marshmallow. If you can sit and wait without eating it then you can have another marshmallow and then you can eat them both, what would you do?
In this video you can see how some children got on with this test. Do you think they will show self-discipline?
Let’s find out!
What sort of things help you to stay focused and to resist temptation? Is it a promise of a better reward?
What are the positive consequences of giving up sweets/ chocolates/ cakes/ biscuits?
What are the positive consequences of giving up playing on your games console/ computer/ phone?
What are the positive consequences of giving up saying mean words?
What are the positive consequences of giving up your time to spend some more time in prayer, for example saying the rosary, going to Reconciliation or going to Mass?
When being disciplined and giving something up is becoming really difficult it can help to think about the positive things that will come out of it.
Jesus knew that by giving up His life for us on the cross He was saving all of us from sin and He loves each and every one of us so much that this was a positive thought that would have helped Him when He suffered a painful death.
Open our eyes to the positive things that we should be grateful for.
Click here for the Scripture Resource
The books of Timothy were actually written by Saint Paul. Timothy was a young bishop and he wasn’t sure if he would be able to do his job very well. St Paul wrote to Timothy with words of encouragement to give him confidence even though he was young and it is these same words that we will hear in our scripture today.
Before we read the scripture watch the video below to find out more about what life might have been like for Timothy before he was given a very special job as a follower of Jesus.
A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy.
For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.
Do not be ashamed, then, of witnessing for our Lord; neither be ashamed of me, a prisoner for Christ’s sake. Instead, take your part in suffering for the Good News, as God gives you the strength for it. He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but now it has been revealed to us through the coming of our Saviour, Christ Jesus. He has ended the power of death and through the gospel has revealed immortal life.
God has appointed me as an apostle and teacher to proclaim the Good News,and it is for this reason that I suffer these things. But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. Hold firmly to the true words that I taught you, as the example for you to follow, and remain in the faith and love that are ours in union with Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, keep the good things that have been entrusted to you.
The Word of the Lord.
(Thanks be to God.)
How do those words make you feel today?
How do power, love and self-control help us?
Does your relationship with God make you feel confident like St Paul?
Are there times when you need words of encouragement?
In groups talk about those things that you find tricky and try to give each other some words of encouragement that might help. Take it in turns to be “Saint Paul” or “Timothy” and see how you can help and support those in your community.