Redefining Success

Over the last couple weeks, I have heard from several students that they are staying up until 2am or later to complete homework.


First, I blame the parent — who lets their child stay up that late?? Seriously!

Then, I blame the parent again — who is telling that student that an “A” is so important it’s worth losing sleep over?

Finally, I blame the student. Because they are either WAY too busy, way too perfectionistic, or simply have priorities that are way too out of whack.

(Why don’t I blame the teachers, you ask? Because students and parents choose the kids’ classes – they don’t have to take a course-load full of AP and Honors’ classes. You CAN tell the Guidance Counselor “no”.)

Sure, these are the kids who grow up to be “successful” – but they do it by staying up until 2am in college, in grad school, in post-grad school…then they’re staying up until 2am to keep their job, to move up in their job, to get a better job. These are the kids whose marriages fall apart, whose children never see them, whose doctors are on speed dial, and whose pharmacist is their best friend.

Why? Because we need sleep! And free time. And friends. And exercise.

People, God placed each of us here for a purpose. He desires for us to be successful. But He does not define success the way we do. He desires us to do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. He desires us to do OUR best, but He never asks us to be THE best. In fact, sometimes, striving to be THE best is downright sin.

So, kids, go to bed! Parents, make your kids go to bed. If the only way to get an A is to stay up until 2am studying — DON’T GET AN A!

Let God’s word be your ultimate rubric, let His “report card” be the one you’re most concerned about. Let’s show our success, not by GPA or SAT scores, but by character, integrity, and passion for the Savior.


  1. Penny H
    Aug 30, 2015

    I so needed this today; I have been struggling with my idea of what my children should do, should accomplish — I have repeated to myself and to others that it is just a number and grades do not define my children, but I was having a hard time accepting it. I kept trying to figure out what I needed to do to help, to control the situation. I need to sit back and pray and leave it in His hands. Thank you for this!!

    • krista
      Aug 30, 2015

      I am grateful God would use me to encourage you. Sleep well tonight, Penny!

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