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The Need to Achieve
by Nellie Shani
4/10/2010 / Parenting
One of the first verses that I memorized after I had fully grasped the important of Scripture memory is found in Jeremiah 29:12 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This verse impacted my life greatly. I initially found it hard to grasp, how the God of the Universe could have a plan for my life! You mean he knew my name and where I lived? Absolutely! That means that God created me to fulfill a purpose in this world that would be left undone if I did not do it. How amazing! But one might argue that, if I do not do it, then somebody else could do it. Yes, but it would not have been done according to my unique abilities that God has given me to do the job, and with my own individual personality. It is every parents job to communicate to their child the fact that they are a unique individual created by God to do good works, and that God has already placed within them, the unique ability to do the job well! For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do Ephesians 2:10.
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nation of Israel Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5). Being a prophet to the nations is what he was going to do well and doing that job was what was going to bring a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in his life. Because Jeremiah was very young when God called him (it is believed that he was a teenager), we can see how somebody older like his father could have tried to pressurize him into doing something else. Jeremiah may have made a good farmer and gotten a bumper harvest, but he still would have lived with dissatisfaction and a sense that he was not doing what he would have liked to do. The fact that the young Jeremiah was called to be a prophet does not mean that he felt competent to do the job. He immediately disqualified himself - Ah, Sovereign Lord, I said. I do not know how to speak; I am only a child (Jeremiah 1:6). The first hindrance that God identified as standing in the way of Jeremiah accomplishing His will was fear! Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you(Jeremiah 1:8). God has called parents as stewards of their children. Their main job is to help their children identify the vocation they were created for and help them get the training that they need to fulfill that purpose. They are called to help their children overcome whatever fear they may have. Most children start to show an affinity for their calling quite early in life and it is the observant and involved parent who will notice this. Unfortunately many parents already have a preconceived idea of what they want their children to pursue.
Every person needs to feel a sense of achievement that he is successful in at least one major aspect of his life. What keeps a lot of young people from pursuing their God-given dream is fear. Sometimes this fear is as basic as a child not wanting to say out loud what he really would like to do if it is different from what he already knows that his or her parents would like them to do. May no parent stand in the way of what God has planned for his or her child to do in life. God has gifted each child differently. There are children who may not excel academically, but who are very gifted when it comes to things to do with their hands. If this gift is noticed early, then parents can help develop this gift by giving their child opportunities where they are able to use their hands to create. While this often happens in developed countries where gifts are recognized and honed very early in life, in many Third World countries this is not so. In the latter countries most children come from large families where parental attention is divided among many children and go to school where they are often just one among many children in the classroom. However, whether a child comes from a poor or rich family, they can still be encouraged to be the best that they can be in their circumstances. If they become a carpenter like Jesus was, then they can still be encouraged to be the best and most creative carpenter that there ever was! Excellence has got nothing to do with poverty. In fact excellence creates wealth. If a person is doing the best that they can, then they will have a sense of achievement. The onus is therefore upon parents to teach their children excellence at an early age. People who strive for excellence are more likely to meet their goals in life, than people who are sloppy and careless and lazy. Proverbs 18:9 says, One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. Our children must be taught that every job needs to be well done. Of course this can only be taught by example. Unfortunately or fortunately, we reproduce after our kind!
Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.
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