October 19, 2019

Pay Forward Faith

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 19, 2019

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

I was raised in Georgia by a father from Georgia and a mother from Texas. However, my mother raised me and my siblings as native Texans living in a strange and foreign land. If you’ve ever known a true Texan, this will come as no surprise to you! She told us the stories of her homeland, and we took on embodied actions to reinforce those stories, including an annual trip to Houston to visit family and pilgrimages to holy sites such as the Alamo. 

This is how identity is transferred from one generation to the next. It does not come from abstract ideals or sets of belief but is found in the embodiment of those values in the people who love us and invest in us in real and sacrificial ways. Paul was writing to Timothy to remind him of the long and beautiful story of witnesses to faith in Jesus to which he belonged. It is a story of the faith of his grandmother Lois, which she passed on to her daughter Eunice, which Eunice embodied and passed on to Timothy.

I imagine many of us have our own versions of this story. The faith that we know and profess was passed on to us by the people closest to us- parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings. And if this is not your story and you came to faith later in life, chances are extremely high that it came through a personal relationship, someone close to you that you knew and trusted. This is how we receive the gift of faith, and the way in which we pass it on to those who come after us.

If you’re a parent, this is not meant to be a source of anxiety for you. So often we can feel overwhelmed by the pressure to “get it right” and tell our kids the perfect thing at the perfect time, guaranteeing a certain outcome. We must free ourselves from this impossible burden! Instead, take comfort in this: more than the lectures we give or punishments we think up or incentives we dangle in front of them, the primary formative influence you and I have on our kids is the actual life of faith that we live. If you want your children to pray and love the Lord and be patient and kind and longsuffering, then give yourself to the pursuit of becoming a person who prays and loves the Lord and is patient and kind and longsuffering. 

Finally, even if you do not have biological or adopted children, you have an incredible opportunity to be a mother or father in the faith to someone who desperately needs it! Today give thanks for the people in your life who brought you to faith through word and deed, and pray that God would give you the courage to pass that faith on to another generation!

Prayer

Father, thank you for the gift of faithful men and women who embodied faith and invited me into your good and beautiful story. Amen.


Application

Express your gratitude and appreciation to the people in your life who have nourished and sustained your Christian faith.


Related Reading

Isaiah 12:4; Psalm 78:4; Psalm 145:4


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