Saturday, August 26, 2006

Love rejoices in the truth

Every parent wants their child to grow up to be successful. Unfortunately, our society has so many ideas of what it means to be successful. So how do we know if we have grown up to be successful? There is a movement in our schools that believes that success comes when we learn to develop a healthy sense of self esteem. Schools across the country are implementing programs to teach children the value of self esteem. Some schools are even teaching the children songs that extol their value, songs that have been referred to as the “me” songs. For others, success lies in good grades, acceptance at a good college, and eventually becoming financially successful in a good carrier. For them, “rising to the top” is the panicle of success. Other children find success in being popular and having lots of friends. Grades and learning are secondary to being liked and being a part of the “in crowd”. And for other parents, all that matters is that their kids are the best at what ever they do. They push their kids to be better and to strive to be the best at whatever sport or activity they are involved in. But is any of this a real good measure of success? In writing to Gaius, his brother in the faith, the Apostle John wrote,

“For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” (3 John 3-4)

Paul wrote that “love rejoices in the truth.” There is nothing more important, or more foundational, than that we build our lives upon a lifestyle of living in the truth. We can have all the self-esteem we want, have great paying jobs, be the best and anything and every thing we try, but if we lack truth in our lives, we have accomplished nothing. I would rather raise my kids to walk in the truth than to have children who are successful by the world’s standard yet lack the morality that is consistent with God’s word and who lack the ability to make ethical choices that are consistent with God’s righteous decrees.

The word Paul uses for “rejoices” caries the idea of congratulating someone. My number two son just graduated from High School with honors and, while I am very proud of him for his accomplishments, I congratulate him the most for becoming a man who walks in the truth. Love rejoices and congratulates others when its sees them walking in the truth. In life, it is easy to become critical of others when they fall short of our goals for their lives. Our children are not as smart as we had hoped or our wife does not keep the house as we had hoped she would. Often we judge others based on images of success that we have receive from the media and the entertainment industry. We see the pretty and perfect people on TV and then wonder why our spouse and children are not as pretty and perfect as they are. However, when we judge people by worldly standards we are judging with shallow motives. If we would look deeper we might see the substance of greater value, something of lasting value, a life and a heart that has been made pure by the power of God. Let us learn to look deeper into each other’s lives. Let us learn to look with the eyes of love. Let us begin to congratulate others for the evidence of true success in their lives. Let us learn to rejoice when we see others “walking in the truth.”

David Robison

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I heartily agree that walking in the truth is one of the most important measures of success. Too much emphasis in our popular culture today is on gratifying the self, and deception is common and commonly accepted, both self-deception and deception of others.

    I think the key to walking in the truth is to be willing to believe and obey what God says in the Bible. Many people read the Bible for the good feeling it gives them, but when it comes to believing what God says in the Bible, they choose their traditions rather than God's word.

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  2. Good point, thanks for your comments. David

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