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What is one of the greatest joy’s that a parent may experience? A cursory glance of the practices of many parents may lead one to believe that entrance into an ivy league school or an athletic scholarship is their main priority. Rather than focusing on outward achievements, the Apostle John asserts that a parent’s greatest joy is having children who demonstrate righteous behavior,

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth – 3 John 4

John’s declaration applies not only to children of parents, but also to one’s spiritual children in the faith. As a spiritual teacher, your greatest joy is not notoriety, or even that your students like you, but knowing that they are putting into practice what you’ve taught them. What is your greatest joy as a spiritual parent? Is it seeing those in whom you’ve invested following your example and walking in the truth?

The word walk is a metaphor for how we conduct our lives. A spiritual teacher is not only concerned with right thinking, but the key is translating right thinking into everyday life. It’s not enough to know the proper facts – you must apply them to everyday life. This is essential as a follower of Christ; right knowledge is the starting point, but right behavior is the ultimate goal. We are called to be an effectual doer of the word – James 1:22

What does it mean to walk in the truth? Truth may be described as an accurate perception of reality. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. Sometimes the truth can be painful and difficult to hear. Truth is not always popular, but it is always right. People have a tendency to gravitate toward individuals who tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. All of us need people who will tell us the truth. Jesus revealed the benefits of knowing the truth,

… and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. – John 8:32

It is imperative that our children walk in truth so they may experience freedom. Those who know the truth learn to love the truth and when you love the truth, you delight in walking in the truth. Freedom is not simply doing what you want to do, but having the freedom to to do what is right.

As a parent, I can testify that this verse is true. I have no greater joy than hearing of my children walking in the truth. As a pastor, I also know this is true regarding our spiritual children. My greatest joy is seeing people turn from darkness to light and experience life as God intends for His children. Are you experiencing the joy of seeing others walk in the truth? Don’t miss the joy of helping others learn how to walk in the truth.

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