How many times have you been to or seen a kid’s sporting event where someone has the conversation about scorekeeping? – “What’s the score?” one person said. To which the other replied in an embarrassed tone, “They don’t keep score.” I guess this was supposed to teach the kids about the “fun” of the game and not have “winners and losers.” But the second person’s kid comes off the field and the first person asks what the score is. The kid says, “We are winning 5 to 0.” The kids knew who was winning and losing. Anybody paying attention to the game knew who was winning and losing. – – – Another interesting example – I was watching a favorite TV sitcom and in the episode, a teenager and his mother showed up to a business where the teen wanted to work. Rather than the young man speaking up for himself, inquiring about the job on his own, and even conducting his own interview, his mother spoke up for him in every sense! The point in this particular case is a little exaggerated (hopefully), but the point is well-made. Two things we all know; life keeps score, and and every person who stands, stands on their own 2 feet. We live in a time where kids are being shortchanged from the lessons of life in an effort to shield them from things like losing or having to work hard for themselves. All this does is contribute to them being unprepared for life. Therefore, when they experience a setback they have nothing to draw on in order to cope with the circumstances. How does a person, especially a child, build character when they are not allowed to experience the ups and downs of life? The fact is they will not. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).” A child will grow up never knowing how to handle winning or losing or how to do for themselves, and will have no hope that they will overcome what life throws their way. They will think that everything will be set up for them to be as comfortable as possible. And when the trials of life hit, they will crumble. They will have to cope with life’s problems with a child’s reasoning. They will handle the problems of a teenager like a child. They will face the problems of an adult like a child and so on. Eventually, they will cop out with things like drugs and alcohol and all manner of sin that goes along with them. It is going through the ups and down of life as a child, even those contained within a soccer game, or asking for that job they’re interested in, which leads to them building character. If they become Christians, this will also affect how they view God. They will believe God to be a God who promises a life of comfort, free of problems, where they are given everything they want from Him. When reality hits and they are not prepared, they will turn away from God and to whatever sin is available to them. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).” Children learn to be adults through experiencing the ups and downs of life that builds character. Therefore, they will be able to handle life’s problems like adults and not children. This is true in life and in our walk with Jesus Christ. The Lord calls believers to maturity in order for us to handle the trials of life and our faith. Let us not shortchange building Christian character by remaining spiritual children the way we are shortchanging our children from building character by sheltering them from the lessons of life.