“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
I’m so excited to be guest writing today for Missy’s blog! I couldn’t be more thankful for all of my sister-in-laws, for their friendship, support, and example to me as Godly women. You probably don’t know this about us, but Missy and my friendship goes way back to before we ever dreamed we’d be married to Willie and Jase. We rode the bus together in elementary school and our families were members of the same church, so almost every Wednesday we would take turns going to each other’s houses to play for the afternoon between school and church. And now here we are 8 kids later, and fifty years of combined married life between us. It’s amazing what God has planned for your life that you could have never dreamed of or imagined!
Korie & Missy at the CMA Awards in Nashville on November 6, 2013
Now on to why I wanted to write to you. I hope that what I have to say encourages you, challenges you and motivates you today! A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a young man that caused me to look at my own life and eventually spurred me on to write the book Strong and Kind. He was in his early twenties and was telling me his life story. At this point in his life, he was passionate about his walk with God and excited to tell others about it. He was even considering going to seminary, but during his teen years, this was not the case. He had turned away from his faith for a while to a life of drugs, alcohol and depression.
He had come from a good family. His family was at church every Sunday, and he had even sung in the church choir. I asked him, “Why do you think you left your faith for a while?” I will never forget what he told me. He said, “My parents were Christians. They weren’t bad people, but the things they said that they valued didn’t match up with how they and the other adults around me lived their life. They said they valued the things that God values, but they lived like they valued the things the world values like career success, money, what kind of car we drove, whether or not we had designer clothes. Through the way they lived they taught me that was what mattered the most.”
Wow! I thought, “Are we saying we value one thing, but telling our kids we value another by how we live, what we put our time into, what we talk about around the dinner table?” In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What are we showing our kids that we treasure?
I love the beginning of Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles and a Thousand Years where he writes, “If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers…Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”
How we live our lives, what we do with our time, our gifts, our talents, is ultimately what we value. The conversation with this young man and Donald Miller’s words caused me to think again about what I was not just telling our children, but what I was living for them to see.
Willie and I had determined when they were babies that we wanted to raise strong and kind kids. I’m not concerned about what my kids are going to be when they grow up, there’s a wide world out there for them to choose from. They can be doctors or school teachers, musicians or mechanics, but what I am concerned about is who they are going to be when they grow up. What kind of people are they going to be? What are the values that are going to guide their life? Once we decide the values that we want for our family, for ourselves and for our children, then we can be intentional about living like that’s what we value. Like that is where our treasure is. The things that God values like truth, humility, compassion, kindness, perseverance and love are what I want to show our children that we value!
How do we do that? What does this look like on a daily basis? Well it looks like buying clothes for the family at your church that lost everything in a fire, it looks like writing a note to someone you know who’s going through a difficult time, it looks like becoming a foster parent, it looks like being honest with your spouse even when it’s hard, it looks like saying “I’m sorry” when we screw up, it looks like congratulating your co-worker when she gets the promotion rather than you.
I’m happy to say that this young man went on to tell me how Jesus has transformed his life and the lives of his entire family. His parents are now not only talking about it, their values aren’t just empty words anymore, they are now living it and it has made all of the difference!
These things aren’t easy, and we won’t ever be perfect in this, but the effort is so worth it. It’s worth it for the lives of our children, for ourselves, for our communities and for our world. May we be good ambassadors for Christ as we walk on this Earth. May others see Him living in us. And when they don’t, may we have the courage to apologize and do better next time. May we love God and love our neighbor, and may we do our part so that His will be done and His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
To order Korie's book, please visit www.strongandkindbook.com