Recently there has been a lot of talk about grades and how we must share the message (in particular with our children) about life beyond grades. I spent time thinking and praying about this, I wanted to be clear on the truth I wish to share with the boys.
These are my thoughts…
My sisters and I did well at PSLE and made it into the Secondary School of our choice. I did not have any bad memories of endless tuitions and mindless studying, in fact I loved my childhood. I remembered having enough time to play with the neighbourhood kids, read, pursue my hobbies and get into some mischief as well. I also remembered I was poor at Math and had to put in extra effort and time doing revision when it was required of me.
We went on to do well at our O’Levels and made it into the Junior College of our choice. This was my turning point (in terms of academic achievement) - I messed up my A’ Levels and barely made it through University. My sisters on the other hand excelled in their chosen fields of study. My younger sister graduated reserve Valedictorian from Architecture School; my youngest sister obtained a Scholarship and has recently completed her PhD. Today, my sisters have made individual successes in their careers; comparatively my career has been pretty mediocre.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. “
I spent a good part of my adult life plagued with insecurities because of my lacklustre performance in life after O’ Levels. Even as a SAHM I wrestled with feelings of inadequacy and questioned my self-worth many times. So I wonder, what should I tell my boys because i know they will struggle with envy, comparison and valuing success in this world (regardless of their academic achievements).
I will bring them back to the Bible - to ‘think of themselves with sober judgement’. God created everyone with differing and unique gifts; and it is true some may seem greater than others in the eyes of this world.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
Romans 12: 4-6
However, as believers our identity and confidence is found in Christ and how loved we are by Him. Our strengths and weaknesses are also given to us by our Creator - strengths which we are called to use to build up the body of Christ and not only for our own pursuit of success. Weaknesses remind us of our dependence on God and His ever-present help; keeping us humble in our service and eyes fixed on the eternal.
Yes, this is what I would like to share with them - when they fail or when they succeed because there is a life beyond the one they are living now.