You Shape Your Children & Grandchildren / Spiritual Meditations

Many people are motivated to leave their children the financial benefits of their life-long work. But it is just as important to be concerned with the attitudes, community service involvement, work ethic, and spiritual depth that we instill in our children and grandchildren. Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church provides the following insights:

If sickness and addictions and wrong mindsets can be passed down in a family, how much more can God’s blessings, favor, and good habits be passed down?

I know that much of the favor and blessings in my life did not come to me by my own effort; I didn’t accumulate all that I am currently enjoying on my own. It came to me because my father and mother passed it down to me. They left me not just a physical inheritance; they imparted a spiritual inheritance to me as well.

We build on the past. My father gave me a huge head start down the road when he passed me the baton of ministry at Lakewood Church. I also have a dream to place my children far, far down the road. And I’m not talking financially; I’m talking about their attitudes, helping them along on their work habits, in their character, and in their walk with God.

We need to remember that the generations are connected. You are sowing seeds for future generations. Whether you realize it or not, everything you do counts. Every time you persevere, every time you are faithful, every time you serve others, you are making a difference; you’re storing up equity in your “generational account.”

It’s easy in life to think, “well, I’m just a businessman,” or “I’m just a single mom raising my kids and going to work.  I’m not going to do anything great.”

If this disparaging attitude sounds like you, don’t’ be discouraged but learn to think more generationally. The fact that you’re a hard worker, faithful to your spouse and family, giving it your all—you are sowing seeds for those who come after you. You may not see it all happen in your lifetime but because of you, your child or grandchild may do something great. It’s your family legacy. It’s not just your life you are changing; you are literally changing your family tree!

My grandmother on my father side worked extremely hard most of her life. My grandparents were cotton farmers, and they lost everything they had in the United States’ Great Depression of the 1930s. They didn’t have much money, had little food, and no future to speak of. My grandmother worked 12 hours a day earning $0.10 an hour washing people’s clothes: $1.20 a day.

But grandmother never complained about her plight. She didn’t go around with a poor-me mentality; She just kept doing her best, giving it her all. She was determined and persistent. She may not have realized it, but she was sowing seeds for her children. She passed down hard work, determination, and persistence, which my father built upon. Because grandmother laid the foundations, daddy was able to break out of poverty and the depression and raise our family to a completely new level.

My grandmother never really enjoyed the blessings or the favor that her descendants did. Had she not been willing to pay the price, my father may never have escaped poverty, and I might not be enjoying the season of usefulness that I am experiencing today.

These days, my wife Victoria and I tend to get a lot of credit for the successful lives we are leading, but we have learned to look back and give credit to whom credit is due: our forebears. There are likely people in your family line who give / gave you some help along the way.

My grandmother never received a lot of fanfare during her lifetime. She didn’t get a lot of glory, but she ran some important laps in our family’s race. When she passed that baton, it contained determination, persistence, a never give up attitude, and a can-do mentality. Now those traits are instilled in our family’s legacy. I believe that four or five generations from now, people in my family line will be better off because of grandmother.

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Relevant Scripture

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers. (Psalms 1:3-6)


Becoming a Better You by Joel Osteen

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