Specific Text - 3 John 1-8
Some people spend their entire lives trying to make their parents proud, but for many this seems to be a moving target. Believe it or not, even Google will give you advice if you type in "what makes parents proud?" The first answer that comes back is "If you want to make your parents proud, there are a few things you can work on, like trying to always be a kind and considerate person and pushing yourself to pursue new challenges and activities." Really profound, isn't it?
In this short little 13 verse book of the Bible, John crushes the answer to this age old question:
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. - 3 John 4
Getting top grades, winning championships, having an awesome career and making a comfortable living are all good things that make parents proud, but the best thing you can do is demonstrate to them that your life is in Christ.
To walk in the truth means to turn away from things that are lies. The devil often turns good things, even things like what Google recommended you do to make your parents proud, or even achievements like grades, championships or fulfilling your career ambitions, into lies if those things are keeping you from knowing God. The hard work and dedication it takes to make your parents proud by what you accomplish will backfire if it pulls you away from the Lord.
The challenge you have is to do these good things, and to push yourself academically, athletically and in business, but do so without compromising the truth. That means you can't sacrifice the time and discipline it takes to be a disciple of Jesus: reading the Bible, faithfully attending church, praying, and more. Once again this involves tension - being pulled in two different directions at once like we've seen so often in the New Testament.
Keep your priorities set on the truth of God, and you will have the proudest parents in the world.
Prayer For The Day: Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for all the ways you have enabled me to make my parents proud, even if they don't seem very significant to me or even them. Help me to walk in your truth so that not only my earthly parents will be proud, but you, my everlasting Father, will be proud of me as well. Amen.