Opinion  |  

A young man's guide to a fruitful life

Boy king teaches Lucy Gichuhi about success and leadership

A common goal we all strive for is success – for example; success in politics. In other words we want to strive to grow and be fruitful in this life. We soon discover the real struggle is how to remain in or maintain that success once we have got it. We call it moving from glory to glory.

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When we study the life of King Josiah, who began his reign at the age of eight years old, we see a king who quickly marked himself as one of the kings of Judah who pleased God.

Our backgrounds do not matter to, or determine, our success.

Witness his genuine enthusiasm for the word of God when he gathered the entire nation for the reading of the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22). It’s obvious that he must have understood that law is here to protect us, not to punish us. It is the same with the Bible today – a book of law, not a religious book. Note that King Josiah came from a horrible family background – he had a terrible father who was killed because of his evil deeds. King Josiah turned out differently. Thankfully, our backgrounds do not matter or determine our success.

Notice what happened when he finished building the temple. I have always thought we are vulnerable – especially when we finish one task and get ready for the next. Without stopping to reflect, pray and fast we may find ourselves moving to other people’s projects.

King Josiah involved himself in a war he did not have to fight and he marched his army into battle against King Neco without just cause. When we do this, we get wounded – which could result in imminent death and/or destruction, despite our past successes.

In life we often work towards achieving a goal, whether political, financial or social, and we need to prayerfully consult with Scripture to envision the completion of our current project and the start of the next one. This is so we can lay foundations and become aligned with God’s purpose for our lives.

In politics today, the pace is so fast that this gap is blurred. Who is praying for our leaders from all the political parties? Like science, politics is another avenue God has given us so we can come to know him more and deeper.

One signal that we may be fighting other people’s battles is when we have to disguise ourselves to fit in. By this, I mean mental, political and even socio-economic disguises. Ultimately, disguises result in becoming wounded and many times we may not recover.

… This was not the ending I expected.

God-driven success will always enable us to be true to ourselves, needing no disguises whatsoever.

I must admit, I was invested in the story of King Josiah and this was not the ending I expected.

There is nothing harder than trying to be like somebody else. It is the highest form of disguise. As I mentioned at the beginning, King Josiah was only eight years old when he assumed the throne. He had to grow up and do what his father failed to do and this was only made possible because of God’s miraculous intervention.

Maintaining a fruitful life rests upon seeking wisdom. Reading Scripture is not a one-time event. It is a lifestyle – especially in our transitional periods.

Finally, the benefit of maintaining a fruitful life is finishing the journey more effectively than when we started.

Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV) says, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Lucy Gichuhi is a Liberal senator for South Australia.

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