By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. (I Timothy 6:19, NLT)
I have a few family keepsakes that I treasure. They have little to no monetary value, but they do hold sentimental value. You might look at them and see nothing more than worthless junk. To me, they are part of my family history. These “treasures” include a set of chicken salt and pepper shakers, a chipped butter dish, a mantle clock that no longer keeps time, and an old platform rocker. The salt and pepper shakers and the butter dish remind me of my mom working in the kitchen and serving us scrumptious Sunday dinners. The clock and chair remind me of family times together in the living room. When I pass on, these things may be tossed because no one else will remember their sentimental significance. But for now, I remember and will keep them.
A sweet, older friend outlived all her relatives so there was no one left to receive family treasures. Before her death, she sent me a few special things that she treasured. One of those was her grandmother’s beautiful silver butter knife. It must date back to the 1800s, but no one is now left to remember. That makes me sad, so I will keep that knife to honor her and her family.
It’s not just small keepsakes that may not be cherished later. Friends have remarked how their children show no interest in receiving things such as sets of bone china, crystal bowls, and antique tables. The adult children see no value in them and would never use them. Even though such items do take up space and may not fit our modern lifestyle, it’s sad when things of the past are no longer treasured.
While I do understand why we can’t keep every sentimental piece from past generations, thinking of those treasures has caused me to consider my spiritual heritage. Have I been careful in preserving it for the next generation? Have I taught them to love the truths I hold dear, or are they no longer considered relevant by that generation?
As I pondered these questions, I began writing down some of the things we must treasure and pass on to the next generation.
- An understanding of the Oneness of God
- The infallibility of God’s Word
- The biblical plan of salvation
- The importance of a holy lifestyle
- The importance of commitment
- Respect for godly leadership
- The necessity of attending church
- The necessity of prayer
These things are just some of the treasures that we must carefully preserve. If we become careless, not only is our own soul in danger but so are the souls of those who follow behind. It is always sad when we see someone turn away from God. Even sadder is realizing that a godly heritage will no longer be passed down to their children and their children’s children. How we live affects our families. This is the message of Deuteronomy 4:9.
“Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren.” (CSB)
First Timothy 6:19 charges us to lay a good foundation for the future. Treasure truth . . . and pass it on.
Lord, I thank You for the spiritual heritage I received from my parents. I witnessed how they treasured the truths of Your Word and how they lived out those truths each day. Now it is my turn to protect and pass them on. Help me, Lord, to never grow careless or lose my love for righteous living. It’s a treasure.