Daily Devotions

Daughters Learning from Their Mothers

main image

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

As I have told a number of people, I am hesitant to say anything particularly positive about this horrific period of time, because so many have suffered physically, mentally, and spirituality. The illness, death, and economic pain of this pandemic is too horrific to take lightly. Yet, I am hearing stories of courage and blessing amidst the struggle. There are stories of people whose lives have slowed down a little, working from home, and getting off the ever-faster treadmill we’ve called life. After there is a vaccine and we regain some normalcy, I hope we remember some of the positive lessons learned in this challenging time.

Jillian Kramer, in her article, “How covid-19 is changing the way mothers’ parent their daughters,” offers an example of lessons to be remembered. A woman named Alice Anderson, from Cheektowaga, N.Y., shares, “While ‘raising kind children has always been a focus of mine,’…it has been even more front-of-mind during the pandemic.” She said, amidst the “division and hate going on right now, …we each have to do our part to make things better.” Having more time with one’s children provides new teachable moments.

Jillian Kramer interviewed a number of mothers, and their thoughts were similar. “Several mothers interviewed for this article said they’re more aware than ever that raising compassionate kids is important in the current climate.” Kramer kept finding that these mothers were changing their understanding of success. Until COVID-19, many parents raised their successful children to be competitive enough to be more financially successful than others. But now, “kindness and compassion over competition, and empathy for those who may be struggling.” Many mothers and fathers are beginning to affirm anew, that their definitions of success are transforming.

Today, think about the definition of success you were raised with in your home. Then, ask yourself what a Biblical understanding of success might be in today’s world. Finally, prayerfully ask God to transform your life to fit your Biblical understanding of success. Like many of the mothers Jillian Kramer interviewed in her article, may we use this unique time to provide our children, grandchildren, family, and friends an example of success with Christ-like compassion and love.

Ambition vs. Adaption

main image

So that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)

I appreciated the title of Rosie Spinks’ article, “It’s Time to Replace Ambition with Adaption.” When I started this devotion, I didn’t even know what Rosie was going to say, I just resonated with the statement. My first thought was that ambition is selfish, while adaption keeps us relevant in the society in which we live. Then I read Spinks’ article and had even more to contemplate.

Spinks’ article points out the new change we are facing in 2020 and beyond. She pointed out the struggle with COVID-19 and how ambition will remain beyond our grasp until we first learn to adapt. She points out, “Ambition is an unquenchable thirst.” Now, to be fair, for many of us on the other side of 50 years of age, adaption is also an “unquenchable thirst.” I finally got the hang of email, and now I find that young people no longer use email. So, I got hip to Twitter, and they no longer use that either. It is a Communist conspiracy! The minute I figure out some new technology, young people secretly announce to every other young person, “Pastor Scott just figured out Twitter, everyone move to Instagram, NOW!"

Spinks points out that “Ambition has failed us.” She confirms, “We’re always trying to keep up in a world of work that seems to constantly get faster and expect more of us, leaving us too burned out and apathetic to deal with anything that doesn’t directly affect us or our families.” Even though adaption is equally tough, it empowers rather than diminishes the human spirit.

Today, pray for the humility to focus on adaptation, rather than ambition. From now on, whether it is the pandemic or technological advancement, the only way to achieve ambition, is through continual adaptation. The same is true with our faith. An ambition faith is antithetical to Biblical teaching, but churches proclaim ambition theology all the time, with a sick prosperity gospel. When we focus on an adaptation gospel, we prayerfully listen for how the Holy Spirit is guiding us to a deeper faith and a good works for a better world. A joyous faith is found with focus on adapting to God’s transforming world.

12345678910 ... 499500