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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

What is success?

(when bringing up our children.....)

The latest edition of TIME Magazine talks about nine families who "raised children who all went on to extraordinary success" - or so it says. So how do TIME define "extraordinary success"? Here goes; two examples:

  • The Wojcicki sisters - one is an epidemiologist, another the CEO of Youtube and the third the CEO of a genetics company.
  • The Simmon brothers - one a rapper and reality star, another a painter and philanthropist, another a co-founder and hip-hop mogul.

In other words, success = someone who is either clever, famous, powerful, wealthy or gifted. This is how the world evaluates success and this view so easily invades and shapes the mindset of Christians.

What's missing?

What is missing from this worldly definition of success is everything that a follower of Jesus regards as most important and precious. Character (and especially Christlike characteristics such as servanthood) is missing, and faith in Christ which leads to salvation and eternal hope is missing.

What matters to a Christian parent, towering above all other matters, is that our children come to know the Lord Jesus Christ whom to know is eternal life. We then want our children to walk faithfully with God all their lives, using the gifts he has given them, all the while storing up treasure in heaven. If their calling is to sweep the streets or sweep into power, it makes no difference to us: we prefer a converted street sweeper as a son than a pagan president.

The qualities TIME regards as giving a child "extraordinary success" are actually rather unimportant, for all of them are passing and ephemeral.

Christmas letters

Over the last 30 years I have taken special note of the annual Christmas letters we recieve from Christians and sad it is to say, we Christians are just like the world. We boast about the earthly achievements of our children and hardly even mention spiritual qualities and characters.

Daily polutted by the values of the world we need a regular cleansing and renewing of our minds and attitudes and priorities, so that we can train our children in the things that really matter and guide their feet into true greatness.