Character training is a huge priority in my family, and in my homeschool. Since I am always on the lookout for effective help in that area, I was happy to review the book "25 Truths" written and published by Ed Douglas Publications.
"25 Truths" is a small, 150 page paperback book that sells for $12.50 plus $3.00 shipping. With the purchase of a book from the website, buyers will receive their choice of a free extra book, either The Book of John or Four Spiritual Laws.
The author, Ed Douglas, has gleaned much experience from a wide array of accomplishments in his life. He has been president and CEO of a bank, an author who regularly gives seminars on financial freedom, and a high school tennis coach. He has been appointed to several statewide government positions in his home state of Missouri, as well as serving on a number of college and civic boards.
The idea for this book started with a list of 25 principles that Ed wrote down and aspired to live by in his own life. As time went on, and his influence grew, he used this list to train those around him to be successful in life as well. Finally, he expanded on them and compiled them into this book, with the goal of changing society one person at a time. In fact, the subtitle of the book is "Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us."
The list of 25 principles is very comprehensive and covers just about every aspect of moral life and character that I could think of. Each principle is covered in one chapter, and each chapter is about three pages long, with a small 'workshop' at the end of the chapter, giving discussion questions. It is very easy and pleasant reading, drawing from a lot of relevant real life illustrations.
- Protect Your Reputation
- Remember, Little Things Can Make A Big Difference
- Make Every Day Your Best Day
- Never Surrender
- Make A Difference In the World
What I would improve: I have a strong conviction that we should have a Biblical purpose for everything in our life. If I make decisions based on my opinions, or on moral values alone, then there is potential for error when those opinions or values change. Since the Bible does not change, I feel it is very important to have a Scriptural purpose for the values that I teach my children. While this book did include many Scriptures that were applicable to the principles being taught, I definitely feel there was room for a much more Biblically based teaching than what was presented. Each chapter started off with a quote that represented the principle taught in that chapter. While many of them were Scriptures, there was also a lot of secular quotes as well.
Who could benefit from this book?: The book is recommended for students in grades 6-12, as well as adults. I think anyone who cares about having a strong, moral character would find this book to be helpful. Also, it is a good tool for parents to open up discussions with their teenagers about important character issues.
How we used "25 Truths": As a family, we would sit together and I would read the chapter (about 3 short pages) to the girls. Then we would go over the discussion questions at the end. I added another component. After we were done discussing the principle, I would ask the girls to think of a Scripture verse that illustrated that principle, and we would write it down on the page with the discussion questions, just to emphasize the point that not only was the principle a good moral way to live, but there was also a Biblical purpose to incorporating it into their lives as well. Most of the verses they came up with were verses they have committed to memory along the way, but I would not hesitate to add a memory verse to the chapter as well. Perhaps I might make them a little chart to keep in their Bible with the chapter titles and corresponding verses that we chose, just to keep it before them as a reminder. My 11, 15, and 18 year olds found the topics very relevant. Some of it was "over the head" of my 8 year old, which I expected, but she still was interested in the discussion, and I feel that hearing the opinions of her older sisters was helpful to her.
My recommendation: I think this book could be an effective tool as part of character training in the home. With young people today being so heavily involved in social media, there is a great need for the training found in this book, especially the chapter called "Watch What You Say, Do, and Write". The chapters in the book make excellent discussion starters for youth ministry events as well.
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