• toothpaste

“Taming the Toothpaste” Object Lesson

NOTE: This lesson offers multiple opportunities. Use it to address such character concerns as these, to name a few:

name-calling, unkind or cruel talk, and gossip

This lesson works well as either demonstration or hands-on. Choose the one that fits your time constraints and location.

Demonstration – requires toothpaste, a paper plate, and toothpicks.

– Show a tube of toothpaste. It need not be a full or fresh tube, but be sure it has several inches of toothpaste left in it. Colorful toothpaste is showy, but white can convey the lesson.

– Place the toothpaste on the table with the plate.

– Talk briefly about nice words and mean words. Ask listeners to show with silent faces how they feel when someone says nice words to them or about them. Then ask listeners to show with silent faces how they feel when someone says mean words to them or about them. Tell your listeners that words are like toothpaste.

– Choose two volunteers to come forward and help you.

– Hand the toothpaste tube to one volunteer, and tell him or her, “When I say ‘go’, I want you to squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube until I say ‘stop’. Squeeze it as fast as you can, […]

  • fruit-basket

A Fruit Basket of Character

You are probably among the millions who will celebrate at least one holiday during the last eight weeks of the year. You will probably visit family and friends, exchanging gifts and gathering around a holiday table. You may attend a holiday party at your place of business. Fruit baskets will be prominent, and you yourself may contribute one to the festivities.

May I make a suggestion? Why not save money and take a fruit basket of character this year? I don’t mean a literal basket, of course. I mean your inner basket of solid character. You could contribute far more to the festivities with such a gift than with any material present. Just think about it. You could fill such a basket to overflowing since you have 66 character fruits from which to choose!

Start with a beautiful Conviction Basket woven of moral absolutes. Fill it with your favorites. Then fill it to overflowing, including the following, guaranteed to improve any get-together.

Love: This is the most important character fruit to put in your basket. A gift of your love will do whatever is best for those you are visiting, regardless of personal sacrifice.
Joy: Your realistic view of both the good and bad […]

  • robust_image

Christian Character Traits are Robust – Part 1

Christian character traits are robust, unlike the world’s frail moral values. The very fact that they have stood the test of many millennia proves their vigor even to the open-minded non-Christian. Their longevity does not explain their robustness. Evil has enjoyed nearly equal longevity. So why dare we call Christian character traits robust?

Origin of Robust Character Traits

Christian character traits are robust because they derive from God Himself. They form God’s basic nature – His essential character. We need look at only seven (7) of God’s inherent character qualities to understand this.

God is LOVE:
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (I John 4:8)
“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:” (Romans 15:5)
God is PEACE:
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:9)
“And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of […]

  • Kindness

Teaching Kindness to Overcome Intolerance and Violence

Teaching kindness is an important requirement of character education and, therefore, vital to peace education. Those who want peace need to overcome intolerance and violence. Those who teach peace must teach character traits that will produce tolerance and non-violence. Kindness is one of those character traits.


How can teaching kindness overcome intolerance?

First, we must understand what tolerance is. Real tolerance is often greatly misunderstood. What is it?

True tolerance is a quality that helps us recognize and bear with another person’s differences, whatever those differences are. At the same time, tolerance makes us take action to keep ourselves from accepting and appreciating every difference that goes against our convictions.

Teaching kindness helps students understand when others need to have their differences recognized. Teaching kindness gives them incentive to meet that need – to recognize differences without giving in to them.

At the same time, teaching kindness helps young people realize that everyone has a need to have strong convictions. Everyone has a need to hold on to convictions, even those that are different from yours and mine.

Tolerance must always flow in two directions, not one. Teaching kindness involves teaching that truth.


Teaching kindness is a way to overcome violence also.

Violence occurs when one person or […]

  • Christian Character Traits

Christian Character Traits – a Source of Blessing

Christian character traits are a source of great blessing to those who build and exercise them consistently. Such traits make our lives more peaceful, and that itself brings us deep happiness. There is more, however, to the happiness produced by Christian character traits.

Think about it with me for a few minutes.


Christian character traits are the high standards of right and wrong that God laid out as absolutes in His Word. Jesus exercised them perfectly. True Christians work hard to follow that example.

A list of Christian character traits is not limited to a few basic qualities on which everyone can agree – six words on which there is broad consensus. To the contrary. Christians are characterized by more than 60 character traits given by God.

Christian character traits are not relative either. They are absolutes. That means they don’t change from one situation to the next. We can depend on them to always mean the same thing.


We get wonderful blessings from exercising Christian character traits. That is, these actions give us great happiness. Think of the benefits of respect. List the benefits of respect your family would enjoy if you all exercised it. List the benefits of responsibility; the benefits of diligence; […]

  • florist05

Character-in-Action Wears Shoes of Kindness

I just read a true story that is an excellent example of kindness being exercised. I’ll change the names, and let you see what I mean.

The story involves two individuals in a small town – the kind of town where everybody knows everybody else – a town with a population of about 3,500. In other words, a town much like Hamilton, Montana, the town in which I presently live.

One of the individuals in the story, Carol, had lived in the same house all of her childhood. She wasn’t thrilled about the small town, and definitely wished at times that her life could be a little more private, but that was in the past now because Carol was going off to college. Her family made the 5 hour drive with Carol, helped her move into a dorm room, and then went home, leaving her with nothing but the stark reality of her changed surroundings. Instead of a small town of -3,500, she now lived in a town of 25,000. Still not large by many people’s standards, it was nearly eight times the size of her home town, and Carol knew no one.

That familiar homesick feeling that rolls over us in such […]