God allows the storms in our life not to destroy us but to grow us! Unfortunately, it is only through adversity that we truly are able to mature in our lives. There are some people that can hear the truth and apply it, but they are few and far between. The rest of us listen to the truth and then we do it our way. Then we say, "What happened?” We have all been in this situation at one time or another in our lives.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” –James 1:2-4
A parent that shelters their child from the problems of this life has done the child a disservice by not equipping them to overcome the challenges of the world. As a society, we now reward children for only trying, without concern for effort or outcome. We have created a trophy generation of people characterized by self-entitlement. The self-entitlement mentality believes that somehow someone is always going to be there to take care of the problems, even when they are a result of our own poor choices.
As a professor, I hear the self-entitlement mentality often when students demand an “A” grade because “they tried really hard.” I remind the students that grades are measures of the final product, not the perceived or real effort put forth by the student. A lower grade is not given because I seek to be punitive, but because I want them to learn the lesson of their mistakes so that the next time they will deserve an “A.” Whether stated explicitly or implicitly, the message is clear that we want all the glory, without the effort.
God is the best parent and teacher and He wants to not simply have the appearance of maturity and completeness—He wants it to be a reality! The only way to grow us in our faith is by allowing adversity in our lives. The storms in nature cause the roots of the plants to go deeper and the same holds true for us spiritually. The storms in our lives will not remain, but the lessons learned can be of eternal value.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” -2 Corinthians 4:17
Dr. Rob Weinstein is an Associate Professor of Business Studies/ Chair of Human Resource Management Studies. He is the Founder and President of the M25 Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in Cumberland County, NJ. He is also the Founding Pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church in Bridgeton, NJ.
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