I recently read Raising Kids the World Will Hate by Adam Griffin. Sounds whacked. I mean really, who would want to be hated? Who would want their kids to be hated? We all want what’s best for ourselves and especially our kids. But what is best? Material wealth? A great job? Freedom from consequences? The success mentality of America is that of climbing the ladder, stepping on anyone and everyone to get where you want to be, at the top. After all “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Right? But wins what? You still die and you can’t take it with you. Unfortunately even when you make it to the top, you will still want more. Jim Carrey, well known actor, once said “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not the answer.” Money cannot buy happiness. Success will not fulfill you because you will only want more. The world leaves you empty and broken.
Jesus idea of success is much different than that of America. John 10:10 states: “The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” When He uses the term abundantly, He’s not talking about living the American dream. Although many times this verse is quoted as a promise of material possessions, in context it relates to knowing Jesus personally and the spiritual blessings, not material prosperity, that come from Him. It is not about having so much more in this life, but knowing and possessing true life in Him.
Equipping our kids for success doesn’t have anything to do with preparing them to climb the ladder and be number one…It’s all about showing them what it means to have a relationship with the Father. It’s all about being a living example of what it means to “have life abundantly.” Jesus is all you need. What does your life say to others about what is important? Can we get past the prosperity mentality and back to the relationship we were created for?
Paul Washer said it well when he was speaking to a couple thousand students: “I don’t wish the same things your parents want for you. They want for you security and insurance and nice homes. They want for you cars and respect. I want for you the same thing I want for my son, that one day he takes a banner, the banner of Jesus Christ, and he places it on a hill where no one has ever placed a banner before, and he cries out, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord,’ even if it costs my son his life. Oh, when he’s 18 years old, if he says to me the same thing I said when I was a young man, ‘I’m going into the mountains. I’m going into the jungle.’ And they said, ‘You can’t go there. You’re insane. It’s a war. You’re gonna die.’ I’m going. When that little boy puts on that backpack, I’m going to pray over him and say, ‘Go! God be with you, and if you die, my son, I’ll see you over there and I’ll honor your death.'”
Can you say the same? What do you want for your kids? The “safe” life? Or the life Jesus called us to?