The Kindergarten teacher welcomed her new class with a bright smile. After the class was seated, she asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” One after another the children answered: fireman, nurse, doctor, wife, daddy, teacher.
And the list went on. Each set his sights on success, and each was encouraged to work hard and do his best.
Tools for Success
Most of us want to make sure our children have everything they need, get a good education, marry well, get a good job with a retirement plan, and are happy.
So, how do we fall short of those goals? We tell each other, “You can be anything you want to be.” But where do we get the tools for success?
To ensure truly successful living, we must be fully equipped through God’s Word.
Recently, Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, pointed out, “As the nation has moved away from biblical principles, we have seen an increase in divorce, drug abuse, suicide, depression, teen pregnancy, and selfishness. Ethical compromise and greed have resulted in financial instability. Instead of basing decisions on God’s truth, we tend to act according to personal preference or popular opinion.”
And yes, it seems to be true. Successful living, according to worldly wisdom, is mainly about self and keeping up with the Jones’. As Willie Nelson aptly said in his song “Luckenbach Texas,”
This successful life we’re living’s, Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys … We’ve been so busy keeping up with the Jones, Four-car garage and we’re still building on. Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love.
But even that statement to can lead to emptiness, unless we look to God’s perfect love.
Truth or Consequences
The only sure way to success is to live by God’s Word. Godly wisdom says that to be successful we are to …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). His Word tells us that if we want to be first, we must be last, the way to greatness is through service, and to be rich we must be generous.
As we teach and train our students at French Camp Academy, we tell them the truth. The way to true success is through the truth of Christ. The consequence of not living by God’s Word is ultimately failure. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus gives us a great analogy for success and failure:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, and the streams rose, and the winds beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
The Rest of Your Life
Walking with Christ is not for the fainthearted. But, walking without Christ is even more trying and desperate. The effort of showing young people the difference in the two is our job and our joy.
Pray for us that we will use the tools God has given us for success, and our students will put down their old tools and pick up God’s tools.
May you walk with Christ for the rest of your life, and be truly successful.