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Counsels on Sabbath School Work

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    Teaching Benevolence to Children in the Home

    Our great adversary is constantly working with power to allure the youth to self-indulgence, pride, and extravagance, that their minds and hearts may be so fully taken up with these things that there will be no place for God in their affections. He is by these means warping the character and dwarfing the intellect of the youth of this generation. It is the duty of parents to counteract his working. Every influence brought to bear upon the young people to preserve in their hearts true, unaffected humility, and the knowledge of the divine will, will aid in holding them back from being corrupted with the vices of this age.CSW 139.1

    One of the most effective barricades against the incoming tide of evil is the cultivation of habits of self-denial and benevolence. Children should be educated to look with disgust upon habits of selfishness and covetousness. God has sacred claims upon them, and they need to be instructed, line upon line, precept upon precept, to recognize and conscientiously regard these claims.CSW 139.2

    It should be kept before the young and tender minds that God is constantly giving His blessing to His dependent children, in the sunshine and showers, which cause vegetation to flourish, and the earth to yield her bounties for the service of man. These blessings are not bestowed upon us to encourage our selfish natures, by retaining the treasures of God's bounty, and fixing our affections on them, but that we may render back to the Giver, gifts and offerings. This is the least expression of gratitude and love that we can return to our benevolent Creator.CSW 140.1

    There has been a great neglect on the part of parents in not seeking to interest their children in the workings of the cause of God. In many families the children seem to be left out of the question, as if they were irresponsible beings. Some parents even rob God of His just claims in tithes and offerings that they may save wealth for their children, not thinking that in so doing they are opening to their loved ones a door of temptation which will generally prove their ruin. They remove from the children the necessity of personal exertion, and with it an incentive to noble achievement.CSW 140.2

    If they were encouraged to do so, the children would earn means to devote to benevolent purposes, and to the advancement of the cause of God; and their interest would be increased by the fact that they had invested something in these enterprises. Their small donations would be a material aid, and the children themselves would be far better, physically, mentally, and morally, for the effort they had made. Through their diligence and self-denial they would gain a valuable experience, which would help them in making a success of this life as well as in securing the life to come—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 98-100.CSW 140.3

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