The Bible talks about us inheriting a faith from Abraham. That we are of his “lineage”, not by blood, but because of faith.
Romans 4:13 says, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
God declared Abraham’s righteousness to be the thing he left behind for those who came behind. I know this means we are part of one ‘spiritual family’ when we trust Christ as our Savior, but it stood out to me today for a different reason.
This struck me, especially right now, because I wonder sometimes what sort of inheritance I might be leaving behind for my children.
An Eternal Inheritance
We have no great wealth or lots of assets to leave to them. All I have is myself. But God is saying our testimony is an inheritance we leave for the next generation.
Our faith is an inheritance.
Then I wondered, am I growing that testimony? Do my kids see that testimony?
A relative of mine died a few years ago. She had lived for many years, a saved person, but quiet. I’d often wondered what she thought about God, but she never said.
After she died, we were going through her things, and I was surprised to see she had journals, and a Bible she kept all sorts of fascinating notes in.
The pastor speaking at her funeral had not known her personally, but he held her Bible and declared what a wonderful treasure of wisdom she must have been for those of us she left behind. He said that a person who had a Bible filled with so many insights and perceptions must have been a fountain of wisdom to those in her family.
The thing is, I had no idea of this relative’s wisdom. She did not speak of her faith to her children. She did not talk to her grandchildren about God, or give them any little words of wisdom. She did not ever share any of her insights with anyone in her family.
She’d written them in the margins of her Bible, yes, but she left them there. The lessons she learned from life never got passed on during her life. She did not leave an inheritance in that way.
An Unspoken Testimony Doesn’t Testify
At the time, this struck me hard. I can admit that I tend to live in my own head, not sharing things with my kids. Or I share them in blog posts, since writing is an outlet for me, but not say those same thoughts with my kids who don’t read my blog.
I’ve determined I’m going to do more to leave my children an inheritance of my testimony.
Psalm 119:111 says, “I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart.”
I might not have money, and I certainly don’t have all the answers in life. But I have a testimony. And I can leave that as an inheritance for my children.
Instead of me gritting my teeth and going through things alone, I’ll talk to my kids about how we need to react to trials and temptations.
If God decides to teach me something, I’ll share that with my children, too. And I’ll listen to the things they have to teach me, as well.
Teaching them to pass on their own testimony is important, too.
Some of the things I can testify to are God’s grace getting us through terrible trials, how God holds my hand through years of struggle, how God has given wisdom when I needed it in raising a large family.
What Testimony Will You Leave Behind?
What sort of things could you testify about to your next generation? Join the conversation in the comments below.