I attended my granddaughter’s graduation on Saturday where Jerry Richardson, the owner and founder of the Carolina Panthers football team was granted an honorary degree. He spoke briefly and highlighted some aspects of his life. He was the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college. He was at best a C student. He claimed one of his lowest grades was a D minus minus minus! (Not sure if that grade even exists!)
Despite his educational track record, Richardson claims his success in life was based on several keys … perseverance and a family that taught him to always say please and thank you.
Success in life is different for every person. In Richardson’s case, he gave a multi-million dollar gift to the university to build a new football stadium. That was one outcome of his success. (I expect having the Panthers win a Super Bowl would be defined as success, as well.)
The Book of James speaks of a different measure of success available to all regardless of our up-bringing or our abilities or our finances. Perseverance toward a goal in life overrides many of our perceived limitations.
James 1:12 - God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Verses 17 - 18 remind us: Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Richardson’s words were inspiring. Education counts! Good manners counts! Perseverance counts! But our greatest measure of success is accepting the promises from God. So reach in the right direction and become a prized possession of God.