By: Mizpah Glenny
Preface: Whether you are a Mom or Dad, Uncle or Aunt, a grandparent, teacher or coach, if you work with youth, this bi-weekly column is designed to encourage you and equip you to impact the next generation. Here at Joshua House, helping youth find purpose is our mission. It is our heart beat. It is what drives us. We have learned over the years that modeling purpose starts at home.
The following article is the third of a four-part series where we walk through how you as a parent can model at home how to live with purpose so your kids will live with a sense of destiny.
In our last article, we gave you a challenge to do things that require faith. As you walk out your purpose and model it for your kids, you will need to step out in faith and take risks at times. Those moments are critical in building that foundation of courage and purpose in yourself and your kids. The third key we’d like to give you will help you overcome a potential trap that could hold you and your family back from living fully alive.
Complain and remain, praise and be raised.
We’ve all been around those people. Ones that cannot say anything positive, no matter what good thing may have just happened to them. Complainers and whiners. They are not fun to be around. You can feel it when they walk in the room. Holding onto the negative, glass-half-empty, outlook in life. If you step back and look at their lives, generally, these types of people will stay stagnant in life, not moving forward into new and better things. This is what happened to the Israelites when they were on their way to the Promised Land.
After leaving slavery in Egypt, as they were approaching the land that God had promised them, Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the land. All but 2 of them came back full of fear, basically proclaiming that there was no possible way to overcome those giants (Numbers 13). Even though they had experienced miracle after miracle of God protecting them and providing for them in the wilderness, they couldn’t see any way that God would continue to do the same for them going into the Promised Land. They were blinded by fear and they complained. Their attitude stirred up fear in the rest of the Israelites. “And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! …Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’” (Numbers 14).
Return to Egypt?!? The land where they were slaves, forced to make bricks all the days of their lives? They would rather stay in slavery than enter the land of freedom that God had promised them? When God heard this, he decided that the complainers would not go into that Promised Land. They were going to remain in that wilderness, wandering and circling, never to find a place to call home. No purpose, no vision, just wandering. They complained and they remained.
Joshua and Caleb came with a 'different spirit'; They had an attitude of faith, a glass-half- full, positive, “we can do this!” attitude! They believed that God would do what He said He would. Caleb tried to rally the people believing fully that they could overcome it. Joshua also tried to persuade them know that it was a good land that God said He would give them. He remembered God’s goodness and believed they could take the land. He praised God in the midst of the challenge, and he was raised up to lead the people of Israel after Moses died. Just like the Israelites, we have a promised land that God wants us to overtake and inhabit.
As parents, it is our job to lead our families to that place of purpose. Like archers aiming their arrows at the targets, we have the privilege of aiming our kids in the direction of their Promised Land(s) and launching them to those targets. In order to see the next generation get to those places, we have to drop the complaining and take on the perspective of faith. Like Joshua, we need to remember and proclaim the goodness of God — praise and be raised — so that our kids see the power of praise.
Ask yourself, what could happen if I really believed His goodness? In our homes, let's believe in the power, promises and goodness of God. Let’s quit complaining and walk in that “different spirit” — believing and moving forward into our Promised Land!
The above article was also published today in the Tyrone Daily Herald.