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Any thoughts about encouraging good deeds while being humble? (cc)

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My dentist has a yearly contest where kids can submit an essay about a good deed they've done, and the prize is a laptop. The point of the contest is to encourage kids to do good things. He says that there is so much focus on the negative in the news media that he wants to focus on the good that kids/teens do.


My dentist also is a professing Christian.


In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about how we are not to 'advertise', if you will, our good deeds.


So while I get the point and spirit of the contest that my dentist does, I don't think it's a good thing to encourage kids to brag about their good deeds.


So how do we encourage other believers children in their good deeds if we don't know about them? Or is it not necessary for us to encourage them in the first place?


Just pondering, and wondering what the hive thinks. I wanted to share my thoughts about the contest with my dentist, but I cannot come up with an alternative idea to suggest. I don't want to just say 'I think your contest has a bad focus'. I wanted to also be able to suggest a way he could have a contest that encourages kids to do good deeds without having them brag on themselves. Does that make sense? But I can't think of how one would do that. I was thinking perhaps of suggesting that the essays be about someone ELSE that did a good deed that they know of, but that might be a lot harder, since we're not really supposed to know of other's good deeds! :tongue_smilie:

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I don't have scriptural advice at all...


Perhaps your son could write about a time he helped someone/something. It could discuss what he did and how that felt.

He could also think about a time someone helped him and compare the experience of being helped and helping.


I think bragging is when you carrying on about your deeds and begin to think your actions make you better than someone else. Instead, the focus could be how kids can do big things/ kids can help too...and then give a personal example.



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i get what you're sayin, but i don't think you need to say something to your dentist. this can be used to do more good than harm imo. he is not doing this for a church but for a community. it may make kids that otherwise don't do good things strive to go outside of their mindet. even if they initially do it because they want a free laptop, i imagine they will reap a reward much greater. if you feel uncomfortable allowing your own kids to participate, i would follow that conviction. however, i think your dentist isn't trying to have a bragathon of good deeds, but rather change the community through kindness, and many kids/teens need an incentive. i think a lot of good could come out of it.

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From your signature I see that you have a high school senior. Did she apply to college? Students on their applications essentially sell themselves not only on their academic prowess but also on things like community service.


There are ways to describe our accomplishments that do not sound like bragging. I view your dentist's contest as a way for a child to learn to describe his achievements without sounding overly boastful. One way to do this for the child to write about how he learned that there was a need in the community and then this is what he did to help. Or perhaps he could write that he started doing such-in-such and then recognized that he benefited more than the person he helped because of what he learned.


I do understand your concern. Sometimes it seems humility is lacking within the culture.

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