Nearly everyone admits the world is broken, at least to some extent. There’s a disconnect between “what is” and “what ought to be.”
People pursue happiness, only to die sad and alone.
Our stuff wears out, loses its luster, or gets stolen.
Buses run late, baristas can’t make a decent latte, and the wrong team wins the Super Bowl.
Worse, evil runs rampant. ISIS bombs innocent concert-goers. Governments starve their people, even in resource-rich countries. Twitter wars trash reputations.
And on it goes. When we stop to ask our friends why they believe the world is broken, we get a variety of opinions.
In other words, we challenged our son and daughter to own their part of a bad experience.
If a teacher singled them out from a group of misbehaving students, they were to understand that their behavior was wrong, whether done individually or in a group.
If they got into an argument with a friend, they were to review the conversation and see how their words contributed to the dust-up.
If someone stole a pair of gym shoes from their locker, they learned the wisdom of using the combination lock we provided for them while they paid for new shoes out of their allowance.
Like us, many Christian parents swim against a strong cultural current of victimhood, which values freedom over responsibility and leads inevitably to an entitlement mentality. The line between right and wrong is blurred. Good and evil are subjective realities, not objective standards. And when things go badly, there are always other people to blame.