Dusty Old Books

My wife posts a daily Facebook blog titled, My Daily Treasures. Borrowing from her, I have found that dusty old books often contain treasures just waiting for someone to discover. These old books exist because someone kept them. The Internet has replaced old books, so if an old book is found, somebody likely saw something in the book that made it worth keeping. I have several of these books.

One dusty old book I recently was reading came from my dad. He was an educator, so he kept a book about how to educate people. Its title is “Perceiving, Behaving, Becoming.” Here’s a small excerpt:

It is a common fallacy among many lay people and some teachers that, since the world is a very hard place and people sometimes fail, children should be introduced to failure early…People learn that they are able, not from failure, but from success.

by Arthur W. Combs, et al

Real Success

The author refers to actual successes, not the kind where every child wins a trophy. This focus on success is what Jesus did with His disciples and what He does with us. Jesus didn’t send out His disciples to heal the sick1 until they had heard His Sermon on the Mount2 and seen Jesus feed thousands of people3. And even then, Jesus gave His disciples all they needed to be successful.

For our children and those new in Christ, we must provide more than the “what” and the “why.” For success, people need to experience the “how.” But it’s the “how” that places the most significant cost upon us. Telling is easy; showing, mentoring, and equipping requires time and patience, the very things we have the least of.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James 1:22 NLT

Doing implies not just doing to be doing but to be successfully doing. If we revisit Christ Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, we find in verse 13 that before Jesus fed the crowd, He told His disciples, “You feed them.” Jesus didn’t say this harshly. He made that statement to get them to understand that He was changing their focus from abstract learning to vocational education!

Good News

As believers, we are all called to teach vocational education. Lecturing is different from educating. Let’s avoid telling people what they should do, but instead, let’s invest our time, talents, and treasures in educating people to succeed.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


  1. Luke 10:9 NLT ↩︎
  2. Matthew 5-7 NLT ↩︎
  3. Luke 9:10–17 NLT ↩︎