Thankful for Trash

Thankful for Trash object lesson

Key Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Additional Verses

Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17

Materials Needed

  • Bag of garbage

Object Lesson

What things are you thankful for? (Allow for a few responses.) Many of us are thankful for the same kinds of things: home, transportation, job, school, family, friends, church, and the list goes on.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it tells us to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Not just the good things! A home is good, right? Food is good! Families are good. But this verse tells us to give thanks in everything! Does that mean we can be thankful for things that aren’t so good?

(Take out the bag of garbage and show everyone.)

Are you thankful for trash? This is pretty gross and disgusting isn’t it? How in the world can you be thankful for trash? Well, I am thankful for trash because this shows that I had enough to eat and the things that I need in my life. If I didn’t have anything then I wouldn’t have trash either.

But there are some people in this world that are even more thankful for trash than I am. Did you know that in many countries, like Ethiopia, people’s lives depend on the trash! They will sort through the fresh trash and get plastic bags to recycle for money. They will also find used clothing, shoes and sometimes even food. If it wasn’t for the trash those people wouldn’t be able to survive!

Now, I believe that we should help people who have great needs like that, but I also think that hearing their story can help us to be even more thankful to God for the things that we have. It helps us to not take for granted the food and clothing that we have and use everyday.

Let us always remember to be thankful, not just for the good things, but also for the bad things! Let us also remember to be willing to help those people who are in need and have much less than we do.

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