Character-building outside of God?

Interesting day today. The kids at work were having a hard day, just kind of crazy. And then there was lightening so we couldn't go outside and run some of the energy out so they were even crazier! So the assistant director who was working with me today pulled out this paper with seven character-building things. They were things like respect and kindness. She decided that we needed to work on them with our kids.

Now, I agree, they do struggle with a lot of the things on the list. And I agree that it is important to teach those things to people in general, and kids in particular. But I question the value of doing this in a secular environment. I think it is good to try, and I think it will work to some extent. At the same time, though, from their point, why bother? Isn't this an every person for themselves world?

Like we have one girl who gets picked on a lot, partly because she annoys everyone else. So from a secular worldview, why should they be nice to her? It doesn't get them anything. But Christ tells us to love everyone, even our enemies and the unlovable. So from a Christian worldview, out of our love for God, we will be nice to everyone around us.

Also, it is hard to be nice to people who treat us badly! We can't do it under our own will power, even if we wanted to. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us the power. It is the power of Christ's resurrection!

That makes this whole idea a struggle for me. I want to teach kids these qualities. But I'm not allowed to share the real reason that we should do them. And I'm not allowed to share the One who can give them the strength to do so.

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