My Wage “I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, However I begged at evening When I counted my scanty store. For Life is a just employer, He gives you what you ask, But once you have set the wages, Why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial’s hire, Only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid.”

—Jessie B. Rittenhouse (Click here to see this poem at a blog that offers more inspirational quotations)

I heard this poem early in my life, and as years go by, I have discovered how very true it is. We bargain with life and receive what we ask for. We get what we focus our mind and energy on. Some believe that they can achieve anything.

They aim high and put in the effort and thought, and suddenly they have what they sought for. Others focus on how they can get something without paying for it. They plan and scheme, and finally they get something for free but find that there are strings attached.

The web they have woven entangles them and they are stuck with the reality that free stuff doesn’t mean free. There is always a hidden agenda.


There are still others, who want big things and put in the effort, but they worry away their success believing in their hearts that something will always go wrong. Luck is always with somebody else. They unwittingly focus on all the reasons success can’t happen for them and never allow faith to work her miracles.

There is still another group of people who, like sheep, just follow the crowd. They make no goals or try to achieve. They live to eat, sleep and have sex. They live one day at a time. They too get exactly what they bargained for, a taskmaster who dictates their every move.

Children come into the world with blank pages waiting to be written on. They believe what we tell them about life until they are old enough to make discoveries on their own. We write our own prejudices and idiosyncrasies on their tender minds.

We can unwittingly teach them truth or error. Unless we are careful, they will make the same mistakes we have made. If we are wise, we can help them stand on our shoulders and reach higher, avoiding the mistakes we have made.

We must teach them, through example, a strategy for success. The best success principles are timeless and found in the holy scriptures.

Seek first the kingdom of God
Seeking first the kingdom of God is the first principle of success. When we put God first in our lives, it makes it easier to keep everything in order. Truly successful people put God first, then family, then other people, and then worldly pursuits.

They never lose sight of what is important because God is their navigator. You can gain all the money in the world and at the end of your life you will feel cheated, but if you focus on people and help them become successful, you will find true happiness because you will have both.

Zig Ziegler said, “You can get what you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” God knows the end from the beginning. He knows the end of every road. Wouldn’t it make sense to listen to Him? God said, “Love your neighbor as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The pinnacle of success is a lonely place if you are there alone. Teach your children to seek God early and they will have a friend throughout their lives.

Law of the harvest
The next law of success found in the scriptures is the law of the harvest. It is impossible to plant corn seeds and have radishes grow in their place. We can’t learn to read without learning the ABCs.

We must take step one before we can take step two. In other words, we have to put in the effort and follow the right principles.

We cannot follow a flawed map or set our GPS on a different location than where we want to end up. Often we say we want to be successful, but we spend our time watching television, playing video games and wasting time wishing success would drop from the sky.

That is like setting our GPS on a different location than where we want to go and expecting to miraculously arrive at our destination. Life is too short. We don’t have time to make every mistake. We need to learn from those who have already made mistakes.

Teach your children that the shortcuts in life often end in sorrow. Teach your children to go to the scriptures and find people who have made mistakes or who have been successful. Make those Biblical characters be their teachers.

Young David teaches us that the Goliaths in life are never stronger than the Lord. The older David teaches us that adultery brings sadness. Samson teaches us to be wary of deception and to be obedient. Saul teaches us it’s better to obey than to make sacrifices.

Joseph teaches us that God will always be with those who are willing to obey, and forgiveness is possible even when there is much to forgive. He also teaches us that it is worth it to run from temptation. The scriptures are full of examples of people who have either followed the Lord or sought their own way.

Teach your children to obey the law of the harvest in every endeavor. Teach them to learn from others’ mistakes. Of course, we all know that children will make mistakes, but if they learn from those mistakes, it’s worth it.

All things are possible to him that believes
The third law of success is that all things are possible to him that believes. Faith is a very powerful force: We seem to draw the things we think about most.

Sometimes we think we’re having faith, but all the while we are thinking about all the reasons why our dream couldn’t possibly happen. Faith is a white-hot focus on what we want. We must block out all distractions and think only of reasons why it should and could happen.

James says we must ask in faith, nothing wavering. Teach your children to be positive and to exercise faith in what they want. As you teach them about faith, teach them to pray. If they learn to pray, they will learn to listen to the promptings of the Spirit.

They will recognize what they should pray for and what they should let go by the wayside. Teach them that God is no respecter of persons. He will allow the rain to come to the evil and the good, but He will bless those who are willing to take Him for their guide.

Windows of heaven open to those who are tithed
Teach your children that the windows of heaven swing open with the law of tithing. Malachi promises that the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour us out blessings that there will be not room enough to receive it.

Why would the Lord want us to pay tithing? Simple! If we have money to give, we have money to spare. I have found that if you pay tithing first, you always have money left over. Paying tithing opens our minds to be charitable and to give to those in need. It is active unselfishness and generosity.

Tithing changes the way we think about ourselves. People with the poverty mentality tend to stay in poverty. Those who see themselves as people who have enough and to spare become more generous. That is the magic of tithing.

Another byproduct of paying tithing is money management. Paying tithing is one- tenth of your increase. If you take time to figure what your increase was, you will be aware of how much money you have and how much you have been blessed.

Charity suffers long and is kind
The last law of success I will mention from the scriptures is the law of charity. “Charity suffers long and is kind.” Teach your children that the road to success is uphill and over many obstacles.

Teach them when night is the blackest, the dawn is not far away. When things are not going well, it’s easy to lose your temper and blame other people.

A person of charity looks inward for solutions to problems. They know that if they take responsibility for the problem, they will also have the power over the solution. If the problem is someone else’s fault, someone else has to find the solution and you are powerless.

A charitable person treats other people with respect and kindness, no matter what the circumstance. Teach your children that charity is always successful, even in rags.

When you bargain with life, plan and aim high; the world will pay whatever you ask and are willing to pay the price for. Take a look at the scriptures and find the success principles to help you on your journey. PD