By Leonard Lauriault: Religion columnist
Tis the season to be jolly with high school and college graduations and the fact that many people, young and old alike, will embark into a new stage of life. Some will start their careers immediately; others will continue their education. Soon to follow this time of graduation will come the wedding season, which brings additional changes in life for many.
Each of these situations affects not only the graduates or newlyweds, but also their family and friends. Some of us view an empty nest as regaining freedom to enjoy life again; others consider it a time of loss. To some it’s both, making it somewhat bittersweet.
These events will result in either success or failure, although, most likely, both successes and failures will follow because both are a part of life. Whatever happens, how we view these life events will determine their true outcome as successes or failures.
Christians often struggle to remember that God works everything out for us, eventually. Most of us don’t like that “eventually” part or that the struggles along the way are actually good for us (Romans 8: 28-30; Colossians 3: 5-11; James 1: 2-4; 1 Peter 1: 3-9; Romans 12: 1, 2).
Also difficult is maintaining a humble attitude during times of prosperity, but for it to be a real success, we must remain humble (Jeremiah 29: 10, 11; Proverbs 16: 18-20; 1 Peter 5: 5-7).
As with the times of trouble, there’s a reason for the prosperity — God wants to bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. That should be a humbling concept.
To encourage some high school graduates in this regard during a recent baccalaureate program, the preacher used Laban’s statement that God had blessed him through Jacob’s success in tending his flocks (Genesis 30: 27). If we’re honest, we’ll acknowledge that we’ve been blessed by someone else.
All of us have had failures so that we can sympathize with others during their period of failure and be a blessing to them (2 Corinthians 1: 3-7). God sometimes allows us to be successful to help others through their failures (Luke 12: 16-21; 16: 19-25). To not use our prosperity or our talents to help others is to rob God (Malachi 3: 6-12; Deuteronomy 14: 28, 29; James 1: 22-27; Acts 4: 32-37; Ephesians 4: 28).
Generally, when we talk about starting a new phase in life, whether through graduation, a career move, marriage or some other life-changing event, we talk about a bright future. But, we also need to realize there will be bumps along the way. While we are to rejoice in each others’ success, we also need to help one another through those bumpy periods (Romans 12: 15, 16; Hebrews 13: 5-8; Philippians 4: 4-7).
So, graduates, and everyone else, look for success in all things and remember that whatever goes around also will likely come around (2 Corinthians 8: 14; Matthew 7: 12). For your own sake, be a blessing to others.