From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

When my son started his first year of college I asked what he hoped to become after graduation. His answer startled me when he said, “I want to be a VIP!” I don’t think I’ve ever heard that as an occupation. Doesn’t it seem a rather empty goal?

— S.M.

Dear S.M.: In many contexts, VIP means “Very Important Person.” Surprisingly, many people aspire to attain just that; becoming a very important person without paying their dues and being a person of integrity in order to deserve others’ respect. This is especially true in a society that celebrates stardom.

But the acronym also offers us a character test. The V stands for VISION, for the Bible tells us that without vision people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Having a vision means seeing what can be done, what ought to be done, and working to get it done. The highest vision we can have is to glorify God by discovering God’s will for our lives — and then doing it.

The letter I stands for INTEGRITY, meaning that a person is the same on the inside as he or she appears on the outside. There must be no discrepancy between what we say and what we do, between our walk and our talk.

The P stands for PRESENCE — God’s presence in our lives. Without God’s help we are doomed. Only in Christ do we find out who we are, why we are here, and where we are going — and only in Him do we find the power to fulfill our God-given vision.

A genuine VIP is a person with vision, integrity and God’s presence. Pray for your child. Teach your child truth. Show your child how to live righteously through your own example. God will bless you.