Did you see the recent picture of Confucius on Facebook? It shared his quote, “If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” Did you pass it on as a piece of great wisdom? As a Christian, I see his quote misses the mark altogether.
How far ahead do you plan? Psalm 144:4 tells us, “Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” (NASB) Keeping this in mind, what is the most important thing we need to plan for in our lifetimes? Matthew 6:19-20 cautions us to not store up treasures on earth, but to store up treasures for eternity. Are our children not our greatest treasures? How are we making plans to guide them to a living eternal faith in Jesus Christ?
We only have our children for a few short years. It may not seem like it while they are with us, but once they are out on their own we realize how short those years were. Sometimes that realization comes with a great deal of regret.
I don’t claim to have the last word on how to lead your children to Christ, and I know there are many posts and articles available that would say it much better than I ever could here. But I feel the need to share one concept on the topic. Our children recognize our faith much more by what we do than by what we say we believe.
- If we tell them it is important to pray, but they never see or hear us pray more than a quick table blessing, they don’t learn to take prayer seriously.
- If we buy them a Bible, put it on a table by their bed, and encourage them to read it; they are not likely to take it seriously if they don’t see you reading your Bible on a regular basis. Are you sharing what you learn from reading your Bible with them on a regular basis?
- What if we tell them to always tell the truth, but they hear us lie on the telephone to get out of a pinch?
- What if we try to teach them to be kind and considerate to others, yet we fall short on these qualities at home?
Also, there are lots of “nice” people in the world who don’t know Jesus. What makes us different from them? Do you communicate with your children the reason behind why we should be truthful and put others ahead our ourselves? Have you taken time to share the deeper elements of the faith? And in the same vein as my earlier questions – have you taken time to fully examine and to incorporate into your life the deeper elements of the Christian faith? How has Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross sunk into your heart and affected the way you live? Are you totally committed to Jesus, or are you satisfied with just being seen as a “good” person?
Who are the other people you come in contact with from day to day? Are you using your time for eternity, or for getting by and looking good for one more day?
Francis Chan has a great video that emphasizes the importance of investing for eternity:
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