From Generation To Generation

What are you passing down to your next generation? We pass down looks, features, quirks, and tendencies. Many behaviors of previous generations are found in future generations. From generation to generation: what will the next generation receive from you?

Many pass along their sins. Alcoholism runs in families. I knew of one fellow who learned to look at pornography because that is what his daddy taught him. Child abuse tends to run from generation to generation. Moses said that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the third and fourth generation.

Many also pass along their weaknesses. When we see certain weaknesses in children, do not be surprised that you see the same weaknesses in their parents. That may be where they learned those weaknesses. If children are observed to be ignorant and carnally minded, it may be that their parents conveyed what dwelt in them. Yes, some children grow up in the Lord in spite of their parents--not because of them. A few children will bypass their parents, but most have in them the poverty of their parents.

From generation to generation, we must pass along godly values like faith. It isn’t surprising that when Paul wrote of Timothy that he had learned his faith from his mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5). We can talk about faith and the testimony that produces faith all day long, but when we can see it in Abraham or Moses or Mary, we see faith in action. Then we learn how faith responds to God or trials. Let the next generation see in you the faith that serves God first.

Furthermore, the next generation needs to learn godly values like courage. Let them see the courage to obey God when it is costly. Let them see the courage to serve God when it would be more convenient to do otherwise.  Let them see the courage to assemble with the saints when feebleness of body would demand to stay at home. Let them see the courage to die to sin. Lectures are not enough. Let them see courage like that of Paul, who regarded all earthly possession as rubbish that he may have Christ.

Next, our future generation needs to learn godly values like endurance. We want everything now. Our microwave society has produced in us a hunger for gratification now. Delayed gratification for future reward is foreign to our age. If you doubt it, just look at how many file bankruptcy each year because they have more credit card debt than they can handle. With credit so available, we can buy now and file bankruptcy later. Not with God. Buying now and filing bankruptcy later is the ultimate failure with Him. Indulging the flesh now leads to hell in the future. Heaven is for those who look for a future reward. They deny themselves now to be saved then. We need to show the next generation that heaven is worth all the wait and self-denial. Gratification now leads to hell later; self-denial now leads to heaven later. It may not be easy, but which is worth the wait? Moses sacrificed the pleasure of sin for a season and the treasures of Egypt for that city whose builder and maker is God.

What are you leaving the next generation? All of us will leave a legacy. It is sure. Will we leave an estate built up over a lifetime, or will that estate include godly faith, courage, and endurance?  What will be your legacy?

Rickie Jenkins