The start of a new year or a new semester is a great time for your students to take inventory on their lives, looking back to the past, critiquing their present, and anticipating their future. You might use the following exercise to supplement a lesson in the early part of the semester.

  1. Share the passage from 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became an adult I put aside childish things.”
  1. Say: “You, too, have put childish things aside. You are no longer the person you were in grade school or even last semester. In a sense, that person has “died” and a new person has “risen.” With that in mind, write some of your reflections to the following questions.
  1. Assign these questions for writing or discussion:
  • Think back to grade school. Describe the way you used to be, act, think, etc. (For example, an activity you no longer do, a habit you outgrew, something you are no longer afraid of.)
  • Describe the “new you” that has appeared since you started the new year or new semester. How do you think your life in the coming months will be different than it was in the preceding months? (For example, what is something new that you will try out or what is a new attitude you want to take on?)
  • As you look at your life now, what part of you do you need to outgrow (allow to die) so that you can mature even further? (For example, another attitude you need to change, a habit you need to develop, a relationship you need to improve.)