A Daily Dose Of Delight
Character. Are our decisions building it or weakening it?
Someone has said, “All children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” D.L. Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” Ellen White tells us that Character is the “only treasure we will take from this world to the next.” (Christ’s Object Lessons p 332)
Surely we need to explore values: those qualities which reveal a strong character, and look for ways to embrace them and demonstrate them!
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
There are a number of ways to approach this Pursuit, depending on the number of Pathfinders and their ability level.
You may like to:
- Create a poster featuring a number of different Values, laminate it (if desired) and attach a store bought calendar to the lower half of the poster
- Create your own calendar using A3 card.(This would be folded in half to create a landscape format A4 page for each calendar. The top half would provide the Month name and the Value name and one quotation (thus providing one value per month and one quotation for the month)
- Using the A3 card again, enter the Value title, the Month name, and then have the Pathfinders write a small quotation for each day of that month. NB. If this option is chosen, the squares for each day need to be large enough to do this.
An alternative to using the folded A3 card would be to use A4 card and have each calendar bound with a plastic binding strip (this service provided at Officeworks stores and other stationers). Select the calendar-type which best suits your Club.
Ensure you have a copy of Appendix A, containing Colossians 3 from The Message
To reinforce the message of Colossians 3, you may like to use adhesive labels and attach them to each piece of clothing. If so, write the following words on tags:
- Clothes to take off: Temper, Irritability, Meanness, Profanity, Dirty talk
- Clothes to put on: Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Strength, Discipline, Even-temperedness, Contentment, Forgiveness, Love
Before your session begins, dress the bear in the clothing with tags from the first list. These will be the clothes to remove.
Copy the clothing labels so that each participant will have three or four labels. (See Appendix B)
If you are choosing to go with the sample Calendar templates found in Appendix C, print or copy them in readiness to give to your group.
Copy the sample quotation suggestions found in Appendix D to help get them started with thoughts on their calendar.
- Ask your group to share the names of some of their favourite people in the world. Share some of the qualities these people have that make them terrific. Ask:
- How would you describe their character?
- What special character qualities do they have?
- What values do they show you?
Introduce your Bear friend and give him a name. (Tell them he’s one of your favourite people in the world). Read the condensed reading outlined in the Appendix of Colossians 3 (from The Message) which focuses on what we are like now that we’ve decided on a life with Christ. As you share the things we are to ‘take off’, take that item of clothing off your bear. Then when you get to the second half of the reading, gradually dress your bear in a different set of clothes. (You may wish to make the last one; ‘love’ a belt – for it holds everything together).
Write the positive qualities Paul is talking about from Colossians 3 on a whiteboard or blackboard and ask the following questions:
- When have you seen one of these qualities in one of your friends? Who was it and tell us about it.
- Let’s share some times we’ve seen these qualities at Pathfinders.
- When have you seen someone in our own group here share these qualities? Tell us about it. (Then encourage each person to thank that person for showing Christ to them).
- What are some other Christ-like qualities that help build character? (Write these up)
- When have we seen these in action? (Share stories)
Talk about how easy it is to go through life and not be sensitive to developing these character qualities. But with Christ’s example and help, we can become people who are characterised by these values.
Share how in an effort to define what some of these words mean, and to bring them to our attention, we’re going to make a Calendar which highlights thoughts and ideas about how we can work these values into our lives. Share with your group your chosen method of dividing the Calendar up (see Preparation) and ask them to select a Value to research. Give them the books you have found and encourage them to not only find thoughts which will help us to think about that value on any given day, but attach to it a challenge as to how we can demonstrate that value TODAY.
Quotation: “There is no better extinguisher for the flames of anger and bitterness than kindness.”
Challenge: Do an act of kindness today for someone you have argued with!
Encourage all Pathfinders to work on their section of the Calendar neatly. When all have finished their portion of the Calendar, photocopy and bind or staple, and distribute them to your group at your next meeting.
Debrief at your next meeting. Complete the Journal recording now or at your next meeting.
Select from the questions below:
Look at the each of the Values you have included in your Calendar one by one and ask questions specifically relating to each one.
- Give a compliment to the person on your right about a value you think they demonstrate well.
- Which is a value you try to show others?
- Which is a value you find a challenge?
- When was the last time you were faced with a situation when you could have used this value? How did you react? How did you respond to the challenge? Did you run from it or accept the challenge?
- What are some other ways could you have responded in that situation?
- Let’s create some typical scenarios: You rush into a group and impatiently interrupt their talk with your wishes, OR You carry on a conversation with your friend while your Counsellor is talking (Create some more with the help of your Pathfinders)
- What values are NOT being shown in these situations? (Courtesy, Thoughtfulness, Respect) What would be better ways of responding in these situations?
Two sample Values:
- Courtesy. What would courtesy look like if:
You are meeting someone for the first time?
Your parents are having a conversation and you want to speak to one of them?
You’re at a birthday party and the sweets are being served
You answer the phone?
You’ve just walked into a worship service? 1
- Loyalty. What would Loyalty look like if:
One friend tries to get you to turn against another?
A group invites you to join them but doesn’t want your friends around?
Someone you like says that if you are a true friend, you will lie for him?
You believe in your religion and other people make fun of it?
Someone starts teasing your sister in front of you?
A friend suggests you ‘borrow’ from your Mum’s purse?
- Which value are you going to focus on TOMORROW?
- Choose a value and ‘show’ it by action to someone here at Pathfinders BEFORE YOU LEAVE TONIGHT.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ [rules]. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life… is with Christ in God. He is your life….
That means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it….
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
A page of these tags for your photocopying convenience can be viewed at the end of these Appendices under the heading: ‘Handouts.’
The template for each month of the year can be found in the document section
“Courage takes many forms. Simply to ‘play the hand you are dealt’ often demands the greatest courage.” Thomas Charles Shrader
“One man with courage is a majority.”
“It takes courage to think alone, resist alone, stand-alone – especially when the crowd seems so safe – so right.”
“The man who loses his head is usually the last one to miss it.”
“So long as a man is angry he cannot be in the right.”
“Anger is only one letter short of danger.”
“Determination today leads to success tomorrow.” Anonymous
“Only from rising above, testing one’s limits, can real growth be attained.” T Sean Rooney
“Joined hands make a powerful circle around any obstacle.” Rev. Malcolm Thomas
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie
“Those that follow the crowd are likely lost in it.” Anonymous
“Lying lets you live one night. The truth makes you live forever” – Tunisian Proverb
“A good liar needs a good memory.” – Arabic Proverb
“A good conscience is a soft pillow.” German Proverb
“So he sat down, and called the Twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.'”
“You’re always in the wrong key when you start singing your own praises.”
“Do not refuse a kindness to anyone who asks it, if it is in your power to perform it.” Proverbs 3: 27
“Show an act of kindness today. Do not do it to receive praise, do it because it’s right.”
“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on. Pass it on.”
“There are no boundaries to kindness.” Japanese Proverb
“No man’s headaches while he comforts another.” Italian Proverb
“Show respect for all people. Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family. Respect God. Honour the king.” 1 Peter 2: 17
“If you like yourself and who you are, then you’ll probably like almost everyone you meet regardless of who they are.”
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa
“I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody.” Benjamin Franklin
“Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promised.”
“Excellence is never an accident.”
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”
“The greatest responsibility an individual assumes is to oneself.” Madeline June Bartosch
“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” Chinese Proverb
“A tree often transplanted is never loaded with fruit.”
“The greatest accomplishment is not in falling but in rising again after you fall.” Vince Lombardi
“You may have lost the inning, but you can still win the game.”