Monday, February 3, 2014

Passing on the Passion

In his book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell interviewed a man who grew up in the Midwest. When the man was young, he went door to door asking the neighbors if they wanted the snow shoveled off their driveway and sidewalk. He then hired other kids to do it and paid them, from what he collected. In the fall, he switched to raking leaves. He was 10 years old when he did this. By the time he was 11, he had $600 in the bank, all earned by himself. This was in the 1950’s, and would be equivalent to $5000 today. If he or his brothers left the lights on in their house, his father would shake the electric bill at them, and tell them they were being lazy by not turning off the lights. He said he did not want to pay for lazy. When the man was in college, he ran a pickup and drop off laundry service for the rich students. Over and over he used hustle, drive, ambition and hard work to attain his goals. He grew up to be a very successful businessman and moved to Beverly Hills, where he is a multimillionaire today.
His problem?
He does not know how to be as successful at raising his kids, as his Dad was at raising him. Multimillionaires do not shake the electric bill in front of their kids and tell them they are lazy. His kids do not go door to door and rake leaves for their neighbors in Beverly Hills. It is hard to teach them the value of a dollar and how to be a hard worker when they already have more than they could want or imagine.
I wonder if this is sometimes how it is trying to raise our kids to love God. If we grew up with a void, because of how we were raised, or our own rebellious choices, we are so grateful that our loving God rescued us from our pit. We are forever humbled and thankful to this awesome God who saved us. We love spending time with Him in His Word. We tear up while singing praise songs that tell how much He loves us, because we feel it so deeply. We love sharing Christ with others, so they can have the adventurous life with the God who has a wonderful plan for them. We never want to go back to that pit, and we love God with all our heart. He is the best thing that ever happened to us.
The problem?
Our kids do not have that void. We have taken them to church every Sunday since they were born. They have gone to Christian camps, have Christian friends and they know all the Bible stories. Where is the void? How can they love God deeply and be humbly grateful for all He has done for them, if they think they have always known Him? How can they fight back tears when singing, “Our chains are gone. I’ve been set free,” if they have never been set free from a pit?  How can they love much, if they do not think they have been forgiven for much?
Just asking the question today.


  1. That is a very good question. Maybe showing them life outside their bubble helps? hmmm, think we will talk about this during devotions tonight!

  2. That's what I thought too Michele. Maybe having the kids help at a homeless shelter, a mission trip to help a needy area, or helping the community in general, really serving people that need help. I think allowing them to see how God really does change lives might help them see how great He is.

  3. I am that kid who was born on Wednesday and in church by Sunday. We rarely missed anything at church since my dad was an elder and even on vacation we would always find a church to attend. In my middle school and teen years I struggled because I didn't feel I had a testimony. Why? Because as humans we quantify sin. Drug addict is a BIG sin, but white lies are little sins. When I finally got the concept that sin is anything, ANYTHING that separates us from God I was able to see how much God has done for me.

  4. That's a great point Teri! Maybe our kids don't understand that concept until they are a little older.That is something I need to make sure my kids know.