As a teacher and a parent, I have often found myself caught in the cultural “success-trap,” encouraging and measuring my students’ and children’s success with wrong or deficient goals and measures. For example, do I measure success in my 1st grade Sunday school class merely by how many verses the children can memorize during the year? By how fast they can do a Sword Drill? By how many lesson themes they can remember? Yes, all of those things can be good goals, but…
This week, I found this posting by R.C. Sproul, Jr. at Ligonier Ministries to be both convicting and helpful:
Because those in the world are so quick to live vicariously through their children, to catalog their successes in conversation and on social media, we Christians are tempted to follow suit. We want to show the world that our following in the pathway of Christ doesn’t make us losers, but that in fact we are empowered for even greater successes. We Christians herald our outspoken athletes and our teenage pop stars and in turn highlight whatever headlines our own children garner.
Our standards, however, ought to be different. Our faith isn’t a better path to a better life, as the world defines it. It is instead a different path, a different life, and a different understanding of what we mean by better. We cherish academic success, but smart, I’m sorry to report, is not listed among the fruit of the Spirit. Neither is pretty, wealthy, athletic, musical. There is nothing wrong with those things, nothing wrong with excelling in those things. They are not, however, the goal. They are not the measure of success for those called to pick up their cross and follow Him.
Read the whole article titled, “What Makes You Proudest of Your Children?,” here.