Wednesday’s signing of a new law in Louisiana that will require schools to display the Ten Commandments has ignited the predictable firestorm from the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Louisiana lawmakers and many others believe the current Supreme Court will ultimately rule the legislation constitutional in the likelihood of an appeal, rightly noting that merely posting verses from the Bible doesn’t establish religion.

But lawmakers and school officials shouldn’t stop at posting the Ten Commandments. As classic literature, the Old and New Testaments contain wonderfully wise, life-changing and encouraging phrases that enrich all who encounter their words.

It would be a very good thing if schools all over the country posted additional verses. Here are ten suggestions.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29

 Cultivating a clean and healthy atmosphere should be a top priority. Our children need to be reminded just how powerful the tongue is to either build up or tear down.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Tim. 4:12

We need to establish high expectations for the youth, challenging them to live up to them in every area of their lives.

“Rejoice always.” – 1 Thess. 5:16

Difficult times may call for sober mindedness, but one of the many great benefits of the Christian life is how we can always take comfort and joy in our relationship with the Lord.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Col. 3:2

Bitterness and frustration often come about when we fret about trivial things. Being Heavenly minded helps us to reset our perspective for the good.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed.” – Joshua 1:9

Life isn’t easy – but courage can be contagious and highly effective in helping us overcome any challenge.

“Children, obey your parents in everything.” – Col. 3:20

What mother and father would object to this reminder for children to show respect and deference?

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Many of the tensions and hurts of life would be soothed or eliminated altogether if we committed to giving other people the benefit of the doubt, as well as not holding grudges.

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10

Imagine the transformation in schools if students worked to be the friendliest, kindest and most helpful.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Phil. 4:8

As the old saying goes, “What goes down in the well comes up in the bucket.” What we consume and think about manifests in our behavior – for good or bad.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Phil. 4:13

 Confidence is a critical ingredient in a successful life, but it’s the source of that confidence that makes all the difference.

In its 1963 ruling that found mandatory Bible reading in public schools unconstitutional, the Supreme Court majority nevertheless acknowledged, “The Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities.” It’s also a worthy source of encouragement and perspective for those navigating adolescence.


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