Hating Through a Mirror | UMC YoungPeople
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February 2019

Hating Through a Mirror

By Jeremy Steele

Love is the opposite of hate. Often the seeds of how we love our enemies can be discovered by thinking about the things we don’t like [hate] about them. This activity asks students to think about how they can flip those hateful statements into loving one. This is an exploration of Luke 6:27-38.

Begin by placing a mirror in the center of the group. Explain that the mirror shows the opposite image, flipping right to left and left to right. That is what you are going to be doing as you think about how you can love your enemies. Students are going to begin by writing a hateful statement you or someone else has said about another person or group in large letters that cover an entire sheet of paper. Then after some reflecting time, they will flip the paper and write the opposite, loving statement on the other side flipping their hate to love like a mirror flips what is in it.

Pass out paper and have students think about which person or group they or their friends hate. Then, find one statement they have heard or have said about the group on the piece of papers in letters so large it fills the entire paper. The statements might be like these:

  • I hate how superficial they are.
  • I hate their music.
  • I hate how they exclude people.

Now, set a timer for five minutes. ask students to think about that statement for five minutes trying to imagine a way they can turn it around. It may help for them to trace it or continue doodling around it to help them focus. If they need to get up and walk around while holding it they can do that too. Once the timer is up, ask them to flip the paper over and write the other statement on the other side. It might be a statement like this:

  • I love how they care for their own appearance
  • I love how different their music is from mine.
  • I love how closely knit their group of friends are.

Once students have finished, ask them to go around the room sharing both sides of the paper and how they came to the loving statement on the other side.

When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at JeremyWords.com.