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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 26, 2010

A Lesson on Sin

Present to the class several reasons for why people sin. Have the students add reasons to the list. For example:
  • "I made a mistake." A person chooses something he or she thought was good, only to find out that the consequences were really bad.
  • "I chose a lesser good over a greater good." For example, a person cheats on a test to get a good grade (the lesser good), giving up his or her honesty (the greater good). Remind the teens of the rule that "one may never do evil so that good may result from it" (CCC, 1789).
  • "I chose something good for me but bad for you." For example, a fifteen-year-old thinks it's good for him to take his dad's car for a cruise, but it is bad for his dad, for the safety of others on the road, etc.
  • "I chose something that seems good now but will be bad later." Drinking, drugs, and sex all fit under this type of reasoning.
  • "I chose to do something bad just because it is bad." There are many examples of teens and adults who seem to choose bad things for this reason. Revenge, blackmail, and gossiping may fit under this category of sinfulness.
In small groups or as part of a class discussion, have the students come up with the following: 1) a definition of sin; 2) top three reasons why their peer group sins; and 3) what they can personally do about sin in their lives. See Part Three of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for further reference on the moral life.

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