Character Studies

These studies are primarily for teens to help them understand the character of Christ and how to become more like him.


To the leader of the study:
Honesty is a critical character trait to have as a teenager. One of the tendencies in the sinful nature of a teenager is to lie. Lying manifests itself in half-truths, exaggeration and deceit. The goal of this study is to free teens from the trap of lying and to help them see that honesty is absolutely God’s way (the more open you are about your life,
the more open the teenager will be about theirs).


  1. Why do teens lie?
    a) Afraid of getting in trouble
    b) Want to look good in front of others
    c) Ashamed or embarrassed about something (Leader of study: Share some lies
    you’ve told and why you told them)
  2. To whom do teens lie?
    a) Authority figures (parents, teachers,
    ministry leaders…)
    b) Friends
    c) Siblings
  3. What do they lie about?
    a) Performance (i.e. report cards, chores,
    Bible reading, homework…)
    b) Treatment of others

The goal of this study is to help you see that honesty is what God wants from you and you’re like God when you’re honest.

The Scriptures

Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24
Name some things God knows about you.
Why does it make sense to be honest all the time?
a) God knows and sees when we even just think about lying.
b) God knows and sees when we tell halftruths, when we exaggerate, when we’re deceitful and when we lie.

Bottom line: God knows everything about us. Lying to others instantly leads to lying to ourselves and ultimately, lying to God.

John 8:44
What can you learn from this Scripture?
a) Lying is Satan’s language.
b) Satan is the father of lies.

Bottom Line: Satan is behind every lie.

Mark 7:22
How would you define “deceit”?
a) Shading the truth
b) Not telling the whole truth, usually to make yourself or a situation look better
c) Not saying what you are really thinking, not being open (giving answers like
“Fine,” “okay” or “I don’t know” when you know there’s more in your heart).

Bottom Line: Saying what you are really thinking is very important because that’s the only way you can get the spiritual help you need to be able to change your heart.

Revelation 21:8
God takes lying seriously!

Personal Heart-Check Questions

  1. When are you most tempted to lie?
  2. Are you willing to change your life and be totally honest all the time?

Practical Applications

James 5:16
When you lie:
a) Confess it to the person you lied to.
b) Confess it to your parents/mentor.
c) Tell them why you are sorry and why you want to change.
d) Then, move forward joyfully because you did what was right before God.

Write out a half-page response about what you’ve learned from this study and some things you have done or will do differently because of this study.


To the leader of the study:

Humility is essential in beginning and maintaining a relationship with God. Pride, the opposite of humility; is often difficult to see in oneself. It can be described as stubbornness toward God, his Word and others, or as independence from God or others (Use examples of interactions you’ve observed between the teen and others that show lack of humility. Share from your own life as well)


1. What is pride?

a) Being stubborn
b) Thinking you are better than others
c) Thinking your ideas are best and that things should always go your way
d) Not apologizing/admitting your wrong
(Leader of Study: Share an example)

2. What do you think humility is?

Possible negative responses.
a) Letting people walk all over you
b) Letting people tell you what to do
c) Having no opinions

Possible positive responses.
a) Listening to advice and getting help from God and others
b) Taking correction well
c) Apologizing for sin

The goal of this study is for you to see your pride so that you can humbly accept and respond to the word of God.

The Scriptures

Philippians 2:5-8

How was Jesus humble?
a) He was God but became a man.
b) He became a servant to everyone.
c) He died for others!

Bottom Line: To really be like Jesus is to be humble and selfless.

Ephesians 4:2-3
How does God want us to get along and be unified with others?

a) Be humble and gentle (no selfishness)
b) Deal patiently with people
c) Focus on our love for others so that we
can bear with their faults

Bottom Line: To get along with others, we must put ourselves aside–that’s what Jesus has done for us.

1 Peter 5:5-6
How can humility be like clothing?
a) Put it on everyday before you go out
b) Not a natural part of us. It has to be put on (thought about)
c) Should be first thing people see in us

What is in store for the humble person?
a) They will receive grace
b) They will be lifted up by God
c) Relief because his anxieties/burdens will be carried by God and not himself.
d) Better relationships (As God opposes the proud, so do other people!)

Bottom Line: The humble person is on God’s team

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. Do you see the pride in your life? When is it hardest for you to be humble?

2. Are you willing to change your pride and attitude to be humble toward God/others? Be specific about what ways and to whom.

Practical Applications

Read Isaiah 66:2b
To be humble when you sin:
a) Accept full responsibility (no excuses)
b) Do not be defensive
c) Apologize humbly

When others sin against you:
a) Tell them in a respectful way
b) Focus on your love for them and not on what they have done to you.
c) Forgive them and forget about it, moving on to being even better friends

Write out a half-page description of how you have seen your pride in your relationships and how you can turn it into humility.


To the leader of the study:
The understanding of grace is the foundation for a love-motivated relationship with God, rather than one that is works-motivated. Often teens raised in the church know the requirements of the Christian life, but are missing the heart motivation. Similarly,
overachievers (in the world or in the kingdom) are valued by others and value themselves based on their performance. The goal of this study is to build security and self-esteem based on God’s forgiving love and not on the teen’s Christian duty or perfect performance (your personal examples and analogies will help in their understanding of a potentially broad and complex concept).


1. What is grace?
a) Undeserved forgiveness
b) Real love – An “in-spite-of” kind of love
c) Acceptance w/out perfect performance
(Share examples from your own life.)

2. Where does grace come from?
a) A Christian receives the substitution of Jesus’ righteousness for their sinfulness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
b) After baptism, the blood of Jesus covers over my sins, allowing me to be justified (1 John 1:7)

Bottom Line: Grace is almost too good to be true, but it is! The goal of this study is to
help you to see the real God who loves you and how valuable you are to him. He valued you at the cost of his only Son, whom he gave up so that there could be grace to forgive your sins and restore your relationship with him.

The Scriptures

Psalm 103:8-10
What are some sins in your life?
What do you deserve for them?
a) Punishment (grounded, lose privileges)
b) Not being trusted by people

Bottom Line: God sees everything that we do and think, and he knows what we deserve. Yet, it is his grace that gives us forgiveness rather than punishment.

Romans 8:1-2
What does “no condemnation” mean?
a) No punishment
b) Not feeling like you’re on “time-out”
c) Not feeling like God and others are looking down on you

Bottom Line: We can never earn grace. Grace comes through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and frees us from the condemnation that we deserve because of our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:9-11
What is Paul because of grace?
a) A forgiven man
b) A Christian

What effect did God’s grace have on Paul?
a) He worked hard for God.
b) He lived his whole life for Christ
c) He was a very grateful man.

Bottom Line: Grace should completely change our lives.

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. What should God’s grace produce in you? Does it?

2. How should you respond to God’s grace? Will you?

Practical Applications

Decide that you will live for God because of his grace and not to earn his grace.

Write a one-page letter to God expressing your understanding of his grace (use personal example from your life) and your gratitude for his grace.


To the leader of the study-:
Our society lift up sexual immorality and it’s raging out of control. Teens have hormones that are newly active, and they can let them rage out of control. However, God has made it clear that he wants us all to wait for marriage to express our natural sexual desires. In the Bible the term “purity” is most often referring to sexual purity,
but it also is used to refer to being free from contamination by worldliness in general. Contaminated water is undrinkable, just as a contaminated heart is unacceptable to God. The purpose of this study is to help teenagers to understand and embrace God’s convictions about purity (share challenges with purity when you were a teen).


Have you, or has anyone you know, had food poisoning? Do you know what
happens? Since the food is contaminated and poisonous, the body does everything
possible to flush the poison out! It’s really gross, but if the poison is not removed, the
person could die.

What are some ways teenagers are impure in everyday life?
a) Lustful thoughts and “the second look”
b) Watching sexually explicit movies
c) Visiting pornographic websites
d) Listening to or telling dirty jokes
e) Flirting (Acting or speaking in such a way to get attention from opposite sex)
f) Sexual immorality
g) Masturbation

The goal of this study is to help you to take hold of God’s convictions about purity of heart and life. It will also help you see that following God’s plan is always the most fulfilling in the long run. Being contaminated/poisoned by the world will damage your soul. God has a great plan for your life and is excited about watching it unfold for you in his time!

The Scriptures

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

What are some things we can do to stay pure?
a) Avoid sexual immorality
b) Control our own bodies

Bottom Line: God has high standards for us to be totally different from people in the world. We need to have the same expectations for ourselves as God does. He doesn’t call us to anything that is not possible. When we are impure, we hurt God, ourselves and whoever else is involved.

2 Timothy 2:22
What are “the evil desires of youth”? Sensual pleasures like sex, drugs and

Why do you think God says these evil desires have to do with youth?
a) They are new experiences (curiosity).
b) Teenage bodies are changing sexually.
c) The “young, wild, free, indestructible” mentality that you people can have.

What does it mean to “flee” from something?
To desperately run away, usually, from something dangerous (a murderer etc.)

What does it mean to “pursue” something?
To go after it with your whole heart.

Bottom line: We have the right to choose where we spend our energy in life, whether on worldly goals or on spiritual ones. God calls us to run away from what our human nature screams for us to go after: destructive, worldly desires, activities and thoughts. We must instead pursue being godly in a godless world

Ephesians 5:3-5
How much is a hint?
What does God say to replace impurity with?
What does it mean to have no inheritance?

Bottom Line: God takes purity very seriously!

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. How are you different from your friends in the world?

2. Are you willing to change your life, habits, and thoughts to be pure all the time?

Practical Applications

Read Psalm 119:9

Remember that when you are tempted, the Word will help you to resist sin. Memorize
scriptures about purity and impurity, to have ready for when you are tempted with this sin.

Read James 5:16.

Confess your sin to someone who can help you. Remember that God loves you and
forgives you! Next time, ask advice about movies, times w/boys and girls together,
dates, etc.

Write out a half-page response about what you have learned from this study and how you were convicted. Write down how you are personally going to change and some things you will do differently from now on.


To the leader of the study:
In today’s society, respect is in a sad state of affairs. We see a lack of respect just about everywhere, but that’s the world and it’s different for those who love God. There must be an uncompromising expectation of young teens to respect those they are called to respect. Every aspect of disrespect must he challenged in their lives from this study. Believe deep in your heart they want to respect others (draw it out of them).


What does respect mean?
a) Look up to
b) Admire
c) Listen to
The answer: To feel or show honor or esteem for: hold in high regard.

The goal of this study is to help us see how important respect is to God and to teach us
who needs to be respected.

The Scriptures

Mark 12:28-30
Best place to start is respect for God.

How do you show respect for God?
By loving God with all you’ve got.

How do you love God with all your heart and soul (emotions)? Mind and strength (actions)?
a) Share your heart with him in prayer
b) Do all God asks of you
c) Serve God (by being a servant to others)
d) Constantly think about God and what Jesus would do in every situation

Bottom Line: You show respect for God by honoring him by who you are, what you say
and how you live. Your respect for God will cause you to respect others, as he commands.

Ephesians 6:1-3
Respect your parent(s).

How should you honor and show respect for your parents?
a) Obey right away without complaining
b) Love them unconditionally
c) Listen attentively and look them in the eyes when they speak
d) Be open with them (share your heart)
e) Appreciate and value them for who they are and all they do for you
f) Have respectful body language (read Proverbs 21:4-What are haughty eyes?)

Bottom line: Any disrespect for your parent(s) needs to change. The result of respect is that it brings joy to God and joy to your family.

1 Peter 2:17
Name others you absolutely need to respect.
Sibling(s), coaches of athletic teams, leaders in the church, policemen and other government officials, teachers in school and people running clubs or
activities you’re a part of.

Romans 13:1-7
Respecting rules, regulations, guidelines, and laws. Why should you follow these?
a) God expects you to.
b) It builds your spiritual character.
c) You contribute to order rather than participate in disorder. Name some rules/guidelines you need to follow at home, school or other people’s houses

Bottom line: The fact of life is that there are rules, regulations, laws and guidelines to follow everywhere you go. God expects us to follow them as long as it doesn’t contradict the Bible. You must repent of any disrespectful attitude in any of these areas.

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. Would God say he feels like you respect him? Would your parents?

2. To whom are you most tempted to be disrespectful? How will you repent?

3. What rules, regulations, laws or guidelines are you most tempted not to follow?
How will you repent?

Practical Applications

Write out a half-page about what you’ve learned from this study and what you will do differently because of what you learned.


To the leader of the study:

Righteousness is one of the most least pursued qualities of Jesus. To be righteous is to be like Jesus. The goal of this study is to challenge and inspire the teens to seek righteousness with all their hearts (you must be open about your life to
facilitate openness in the teenager).


Describe “righteousness” in your own words.
a) Doing the right thing
b) Being obedient to God and parents
c) Obeying laws

When is it most challenging to be righteous?
a) When you feel peer pressure
b) When things are hard
c) When you just don’t feel like obeying
d) When you don’t understand.

The goal of this study is to help you to biblically define righteousness and to help us see our need to be righteous in every situation no matter what.

The Scriptures

1 John 3:7
What are three qualities found in this verse describing those who are righteous?
a) Those who do what is right.
b) Those who are not led astray.
c) Those who imitate Jesus.

James 2:21-22
What made Abraham righteous?
a) He offered Isaac.
b) He obeyed God.
c) He obeyed with faith.

Bottom Line: To be righteous is to do what is right and to obey God’s commands.

Matthew 26:38-39
How was Jesus feeling?
Overwhelmed, sad or sorrowful, “This is hard,” “I do not want this”

How did Jesus respond to his feelings?
a) He was open about them in prayer.
b) He was willing to do God’s will.
c) He decided to obey God, no matter

Bottom Line: We must do what is right even when we do not, feel like obeying God.

Acts 5:28-29
Why were the apostles being persecuted?
a) They filled the city with Jesus’ words.
b) They made people feel guilty about hurting Jesus.

How did they handle the persecution?
a) They were bold.
b) They obeyed God no matter what.
c) They did what was right or righteous.

Bottom Line: In the face of persecution or peer pressure, we must do what God says.

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. Is righteousness a daily goal in your life?

2. What areas are you most tempted to be unrighteous?

Practical Applications

Matthew 6:33
Start every morning by seeking God first.
a) Pray to be righteous.
b) Be open about areas of weakness.
c) As cliché as it sounds, when unsure of what to do ask “What would Jesus do?”

Write out half a page about what you’ve learned from this study about righteousness; some things you have done or will do differently because of this study; and how this will help you be a disciple someday.


To the leader of the study:
A teen embarking on studying the Bible must have the maturity to follow through with the life changing decisions that they will make throughout the study series. One way that their maturity can be discerned is by their efforts to train themselves in godliness through their personal Bible study and their conduct around other teens. Look for signs that they are taking their spiritual progress into their own hands and not waiting for others to do all of the initiating. The goal of this study is to help them to see their need to be self-motivated in their relationship with God and their pursuit of the studies.


1. What is involved in training? (Athletic or spiritual)
a) Repetition
b) Learning the basics

2. How will you train yourself to be godly?
a) Consistent, daily times with God in his word and prayer
b) Sharing your faith daily
c) Having self-control in challenging situations

The goal of this Study is to help you to see that your spiritual progress depends on your willingness and effort to build your relationship with God. God wants each of us to take personal responsibility to mature and grow. To be godly requires self-discipline and seriousness in heart and mind.

The Scriptures

Philippians 2:2-13
Who is responsible for your salvation?
Pick one: parents, teen leader, church, or you?
What does it mean to “work out your own salvation”?
a) Obedience to God, even when other spiritual people aren’t around
b) Paying attention to your spiritual health
c) Fearing God

Bottom Line: God puts the responsibility to work out your salvation on you. Then when you start working, he works in you to help you live out his purpose. How encouraging!

1 Peter 2:2-3

What does it mean to crave?
a) To have an intense desire
b) Can’t wait to get it

What is “pure spiritual milk”?
a) The Bible and prayer
b) Godly advice from parents and leaders
c) Christ-like examples

Bottom Line: What we desire, we pursue. You must cultivate an appetite for a godly
character by “tasting” the goodness of the Lord through your personal Bible study and imitating godly qualities in others.

1 Timothy 4:12

What example can you set for other teens?
a) Bible study and prayer being daily and life-changing
b) Sharing your faith daily
c) Home life (Christianity starts at home!)
d) Serving without hesitation
e) Speaking to others to build them up and not tear them down, whether it’s a challenge or an encouragement; giving from your heart in all conversations
f) Acting maturely in church
g) Being real and sincere in your motivation to become a Christian

Bottom Line: Even though you are young, you can inspire others by your godly example.

Personal Heart-Check Questions

What life areas do you need to mature in?
Are you willing to take responsibility for seeking to change in these areas?

Practical Application

Decide that you will be an example to the other teens when you are in the fellowship.

Write a half-page response describing the areas that you need to grow in and what you will initiate to see them change.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Ask the teen to write out their view of God before you get together to study the Bible. When you sit down to study, ask them to give you their essay to hold until the end.

To the leader of the study:
A teenager’s view of their dad will often affect how they view God. In order to be in a healthy relationship with God, the teen must understand what God is like and begin to love him deeply.

Special notes: Even if the teen’s dad is not with the family, he still has a presence and an impact on his child’s life. Use the introduction time to draw out how they feel about him, whether present or absent. Also, be sure to encourage teens who don’t have a great example in a dad that God is the perfect Dad for them (open your time together by sharing about your own dad).


Think about your own dad. Pretend I’ve never met him/heard about him. Describe him to me

Some sample questions to help the teen:

  • What does your dad love to do? Hate to do?
  • What are some of his best character traits? Worst?
  • Do you know how he feels about you?
  • When is he most proud of you? What upsets him?

The Scriptures

Luke 15:11-24
What is the son like before he leaves?
a) Selfish: He took his dad’s money before he was even dead
b) Very sinful: Reckless, wild, sensual

Even though the son was really mean to his father when he left, how did the father respond when the son returned?
a) So excited that he threw a party for him
b) Gave him gifts

Bottom Line: God is a compassionate and loving Father who desperately wants to be with us. He is not a judgmental God, waiting to zap us for every mistake. He wants to welcome you home in your relationship with him.

John 8:1-9
What was Jesus’ reaction to this woman’s embarrassing, humiliating sin? (Keep in mind
Jesus’ character is the exact representation of God’s character).
a) Sensitive to her embarrassment
b) Treated her sin like any other; not, “Oh, I can’t believe you did that!”
c) Totally forgiving, even though that sin was punishable by death

Bottom Line: Forgiveness is part of God’s character. Understanding our need for forgiveness and God’s willingness to totally forgive us helps to draw us closer to him, to
love and appreciate him more.

Hebrews 12:5-11
How does this verse say it feels to be disciplined?
Like hardship, painful and unpleasant

Why does God discipline?
a) For our good (to keep us from evil)
b) So we can learn lessons in order to make better decisions in the future
c) So we can be secure that he loves and cares for us

What is our Dad in heaven like?
a) He unconditionally loves.
b) He forgives all of our sins.
c) He disciplines us for our good.
d) He believes in us.

Personal Heart-Check Questions

Do you want to be closer to God?

Let’s read your essay. Is your view of God different now than when you wrote this?

Is there a link between how you view your earthly father and your heavenly Father?

Are you willing to open wide your heart to God and let him be the Father to you that
he wants and needs to be?

Practical Application

Write out a half-page response about what you’ve learned from this study. Pray everyday to see God as the Bible describes him, not as you feel or think he is.


To the leader of the study:
People-pleasing is predominant among teens. As they develop a stronger sense of their own identity, they seek approval and acceptance from others. Christian-parented teens are commonly motivated by people-pleasing to study the Bible. They feel a great deal of pressure to study the Bible to please their Christian parent(s), siblings and friends. They can strive to give the “right” responses to questions, not necessarily their own true heartfelt responses.


Whose approval is important to you?
Who do you want to get approval from?
a) Myself
b) Parents or teachers
c) Teen leaders and older disciples
d) Friends

a) To be accepted, liked, popular
b) To feel good about myself
c) Because if feels good to be praised

The goal of this study is to help you to see the importance of pleasing God and seeking praise and approval from Him.

The Scriptures

John 5:41-44
What is Jesus teaching in this Scripture?
a) We need to follow his example by focusing on getting praise from God, not people.
b) We will please the people we love the most.

Bottom Line: These people knew the truth but did not follow it because of peer pressure. They cared more about their reputation with people than they cared about doing what was right before God.

Galatians 1:10
What does Paul tell about the difference between pleasing people and pleasing God?

They are opposites!

When are you tempted to “please God” with the motivation to actually please people?
a) Going to church
b) Obeying parents because they said so, not because you want to please God
c) Serving, but wanting recognition for all you do by peers or leaders

Bottom Line: When we strive to please God, we may not be popular with the world, but
keep in mind that man’s approval is temporary, while God’s approval is eternal!

Mark 12:14
What does it mean to be “swayed by men”?
Who are you most likely to be swayed by?
What does “integrity” mean?
a) Sticking to your convictions no matter what
b) Doing what you said on would do and doing it on time

Bottom Line: Jesus was not swayed by men and we need to imitate this quality in him.

2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Why should we care about pleasing God?
a) It doesn’t just happen. It has to be a set goal.
b) We all (every single person, whether we believe in God or not) will be accountable for our lives.
c) Jesus died for us and we should be motivated to live for him

Personal Heart-Check Questions

1. Can you relate to the people-pleasing Pharisees in any way?

2. Have you counted the cost of studying the Bible? Becoming a Christian will affect your reputation with your non-Christian friends.

3. What does your life-style and priorities say about how much faith you have in God?

Practical Applications

Write out a half-page response about why you really want to study the Bible.


To the leader of the study:
Family relationships are second only to your relationship with God. It is an absolute must that a teen’s heart for their family is in the right place. There should be a deep abiding love and respect for their parent(s) and a strong, inseparable love
for each sibling. From this study there needs to be a real understanding of this in the teenager’s relationship with members of their family.

Note: This is not a study about the parent(s) or sibling(s) weaknesses. Hear the teenager out if they feel the need to voice some of the weaknesses so you don’t frustrate them. However, strongly emphasize to the teen that this study will focus specifically on what he/she needs to change


What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses in your relationships with your family?

Proverbs 23:22-26
What do you think will bring the greatest joy to your parent(s)?
a) Listening to them
b) Living by the truth
c) Changing how you live at home

The goal of this study is for you to understand the dynamics in your relationship with your family and compare them to how God wants them to be. The results will bring greater joy to your family.

The Scriptures

John 19:25-27
As Jesus was dying on the cross, what are some words you would use to describe how he looked after his family?
a) Compassion
b) Love
c) Care

Bottom Line: If Jesus shows that kind of care for his family especially making sure his mother was taken care of, while dying on a cross, we need to care about our own families by being righteous and loving toward them.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Whom should you respect?
a) Those who work hard
b) Those over you in the Lord (Your parents fall into both these categories!)

How can you show greater respect for your parent(s)?
a) Listen and obey right away
b) Verbally express to them frequently that you love and respect them or write it to them in cards or letters.

Bottom Line: You’ve been given so much by your parents. You need to give back by always showing the respect they deserve and God expects you to have for them.

Ephesians 4:29-5:1
How do you get along with each sibling? (Go through each one.)

In your relationship with your sibling(s), what should you get rid of?
a) Bitterness and any bad feelings
b) Rage and anger

How should you treat your sibling(s)?
a) With encouragement
b) With kindness
c) With compassion

Bottom line: In God’s eves, there is no such thing as sibling rivalry. We must treat all our physical brothers and sisters with so much love that this love is only surpassed by our
love for God and our parent(s).

Personal Heart-check Questions

What do you feel needs to change the most in your relationship with your family?

How will you go about changing these things starting today?

Practical Applications

Apologize to your sibling(s) about any time you’ve fallen short. Express how you want to be different.

Write a one-page letter to your parent(s) about how grateful you are for them, and how you will specifically change to show a greater respect for them.