Helium and the Holy Spirit

Science with a twist

Inflate some regular balloons, and have fun trying to keep them in the air.

Discussion point: People try to find joy through momentary pleasures; God’s Spirit provides lasting joy.

Take care to supervise this activity closely if young children are involved – balloons pose a serious choking hazard.

On your next shopping trip, purchase some helium-filled balloons and some regular balloons. At home, use a regular, breath-inflated balloon to play a simple game of “keep the balloon in the air” by batting the balloon upward as it nears the floor. (Be sure to play in a large open area that is free of obstacles.)

Explain to your children that the self-inflated balloon is like people who try to make themselves feel joyful by filling their lives with things they think will make them happy – things like food, fun activities, being with other people, toys and other material possessions, and doing things to make themselves feel important. Each time a player bats the balloon, encourage them to name something that a person might use to try make themself feel happy. Ideas might be ice cream, a new toy, candy, parties, play dates, new clothes, a puppy, cookies, games and TV.

Point out that when we try to fill ourselves with joy, it only works in the short term – like the balloon going up in the air and then back down again. Compare the self-inflated balloon to human efforts to be joyful and the helium balloon to God’s Holy Spirit, who provides continuous joy. Pray and ask God to curb your desires for “things” and the momentary pleasure these things provide. Also ask that He fill your hearts with the long-lasting joy of knowing Him.

Relevant Scripture

Galatians 4:6 “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ ”

Galatians 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”