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June 1, 2009
12:00 a.m. CT


Fallacies of Popular Thought
The Reality of Successful Living

Contrary to popular thought, we are blessed with great schools. Great parents and great educators working together produce great kids. As we prepare to send yet another outstanding group of seniors into "the real world" (whatever that means), there are several false ideas to which even great kids can fall prey.

One of Satan and societyís greatest lies is that happiness can only be had if one enjoys great financial prosperity. One thing I too often hear when young people discuss their futures is, "I can (or canít) make a lot of money doing that." Pursuing a career in the medical field is a noble endeavor, but if you choose that path primarily because it pays well, chances are youíll never be happy. Worse still, youíll likely end up as a poor representative of your chosen field. A manís life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). Remember! He who dies with the most toys is still dead, and no one has ever seen a hearse with a U-Haul trailer behind it.

Another false idea is that happiness comes through popularity or fame. In my day, Scott Baio, Leif Garrett, and Sean Cassidy were wildly popular, yet most everyone under the age of 30 has never heard of them. In the last 10 years, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and the Olsen twins all had the world in the palm of their respective hands, yet now they are laughingstocks and the butt of late night TV jokes. King David was wildly popular among the people of Israel, yet Absalom stole the hearts of the people, leading to Davidís disgraceful retreat. "All flesh is as grass, and manís glory as the flower of the grass. The grass withers and the flower falls away" (1 Peter 1:24). (Young person, this verse will be much clearer when you attend your 20 year high school reunion!).

Finally, youíll end up like a dog chasing his tail should you attempt to make peace with the world. Political correctness is a cancer in this great country. If you spend your life trying to please everyone, youíll end up pleasing no one. Moreover, youíll spend your life in perpetual misery. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Rom 12:18).

So, now that weíve looked at what not to do, letís finish on a positive note with a list of dos for our graduates. Do . . .

Forge your own path. Originally associated with the work of a blacksmith, forging included heating metal and then hammering it into a desired shape. As you make your own way through life, expect some heat and hammering as others attempt to put you into their mold.

Follow good examples. No, this is not contradictory to our previous thought. As a Yale undergrad, Fred Smith submitted a proposal for reliable overnight delivery service. He received a "C" for his effort. Undeterred, he pursued his idea, and founded his own business. Perhaps youíve heard of it Ė Federal Express (FedEx) has 140,000 employees and revenues of nearly 40 billion dollars annually.

Free your mind to lifeís possibilities. Donít be afraid to dream big. With God, all things are possible. Abraham doubted, Sarah laughed, but Isaac was born anyway. With no experience as a leader or builder, Nehemiah led Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in only 52 days. The gospel was carried into all the world in less than 40 years, starting with 12 largely uneducated men and 120 followers.

Pursue your dreams! Choose a career that makes you happy, and may Godís blessings be upon you as you enter this new and exciting part of your life. TC

Archives > Read Previous Minister's Messages

January 2009 - Divine Encouragement For the New Year
February 2009 - Paul's Keys to Joy - Part One
March 2009 - Paul's Keys to Joy - Part Two
April 2009 - Paul's Keys to Joy - Part Three
May 2009 - Do Not Sin Against the Child is Best Viewed at 1280 x 960 or Higher Screen Resolution :: Web Site Problems? Contact Our Webmaster is Copyright Protected by Burleson Church of Christ, Hamilton, Alabama. All Rights Reserved.