Second Thessalonians Chapter 3 is just one example of the command for Christians to keep our personal environment pure. We are commanded to be careful that influences not strictly parallel to the teachings of God’s Word are to be avoided, or as this chapter says, “have no company with them.” Be careful to explain to your students that keeping company with some one or some thing is a continual practice, not intended to mean that we should not speak to them, show kindness to them, or witness to them. We cannot make their habits our habits. I have included here a few ideas of object lessons to demonstrate a known fact of science and nature: the object always reacts to and absorbs its environment.
Test # 1: Fill a clear glass container half full with water. Add red or blue food coloring to make a dark mixture. Name this mixture the environment. Place a long stalk of celery in the water to represent the object (or person) being placed in the environment. It will take most of your class time, but the water will eventually wick up the stalk and color the celery.
Test # 2: Before your class, place a piece of bread out until mold begins to form on it. Use this as the environment. During class, place several pieces of new bread in a clear container (with a tight lid) in with the moldy one. Discuss with your class what they think will happen to the new bread. Because there are more new pieces than molded ones, will the new ones make the molded piece new again? Make sure the container is tightly closed and leave for a few days. Find your answer as you observe the bread over a few days or a week. NOTE: Only an adult should handle the molded bread and do so with gloves on. Some people are allergic to mold. Remember the rule for allergy items: Don’t breathe it in; don’t touch your skin. Throw the entire container away without ever opening it when you finish this experiment.
Test # 3: Purchase a piece of fruit that is already starting to brown and several that are new and fresh. Peaches or bananas are great for this. As you did with the bread, put the browned fruit in a clear container first to represent the environment. Next, place several new fruits in the container. Secure the lid tightly and leave the fruit for the students to observe. Ask the same questions as before: which environment will win over the others, the good fruit or the bad fruit? NOTE: Follow the same handling rules as for the molded bread. Toss the entire unopened container away!
Follow this with a discussion of other “environments” your students know that will change a good object to a bad one.