Don’t Teach Finesse

May 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Previously I discussed the dangers of teaching the Bible to children the way we would teach fables, and of the danger of teaching them that the Bible is merely a sounding board for our feelings. Now we will see that we must also beware of the temptation to teach obedience to God as though it was part of a reward system, or a quid pro quo bargaining chip.

This is an especially dangerous teaching method because of the way even adults, through the so-called “health and wealth gospel” or the “Word of Faith” movement, have been seduced into this way of thinking: “I’ll obey You, God, but I need You to give me something in return” (good health and money being the two favorites). We see this train of thought subtly insinuated in promises to get blessings for giving, for ministry, even for faithfulness.

The problem is not really in teaching that God blesses, and even honors, faithfulness. The problem is in slapping our definition of “blessing” onto God’s greater and higher definition of blessing. Children who are taught that God is just aching to give them what their flesh craves are susceptible to developing a mentality of “gaming the system” – of trying to bribe or outsmart God.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

I Timothy 6:6-10

A love of money or any material thing (which amounts to the sin of greed) will bring sorrow instead of joy into the hearts of your children. Let’s teach our children that knowing and serving God is a blessing unto itself, and that even poverty and suffering may be counted as true blessings under His promises.

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Luke 6:20-21


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  1. […] 39. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41) 40. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs 28:26) 41. Don’t Teach Finesse 41. The Blessings and Hazards of Companionship (Proverbs […]

  2. […] 1. S.E.R.V.E. the Lord in Children’s Ministry 2. Teaching the 3rd and 4th Commandments to Children (Exodus 20:7-8) * 3. Explaining the Meaning of Biblical “Authority” to Children 4. Tips for Teachers 5. The Early Bird Gets to Wait 6. Key Words for Bible Teachers: Truth and Type 7. Key Words for Bible Teachers: Treasure 8. Things New and Old (Matthew 13:51-52) 9. How Tall Was Jesus? 10. Three Things to Bring to Sunday School (Matthew 10:27) 11. Christian Teachers Warned and Watched 12. Where Is Jesus in the Bible? (lesson 1) 13. Where Is Jesus in the Bible? (lesson 2) 14. Teaching / Temptation (John 14:26-27; Job 36:21-25) 15. How Rosaria Butterfield Learned to S.W.I.M. 16. The Most Important Children’s Ministry Tool (II Timothy 3:15) 17. A One-Question Quiz for Boys (Psalm 119:9) 18. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41) 19. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs 28:26) 20. Don’t Teach Finesse […]

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