Greed is deceptive. The greedy person will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Many people will try to sell you on this idea: they will entice you to follow your selfish dreams. Yet, the person who ultimately suffers from greed is the greedy person.
If fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then listening to your parents is the first step you take on the journey to becoming wise.
Do you fear the Lord? If God is who He has revealed himself to be in the Bible, then we must respond to Him with trust, love, and, yes, appropriate fear. This is the holy God, whose law is perfect, whose promises never fail, and whose justice will be satisfied. As one author wrote, the fear of the Lord means that you “believe his promises and love him; and you believe his threats and fear him.”
It seems now that being a person with a cool spirit is no longer “cool.” What society seems to expect is outrage, rash judgments, and rants against those who disagree with us, whether it has to do with political, religious, or social issues. Remaining calm, prudently taking your time to make judgments (Proverbs 18:17), and staying aloof from conflict (Proverbs 20:3) are viewed as weakness, cowardice, or fear. Yet, the Bible teaches that these are virtues.
What we see, then, is that humility is spiritual warfare. When we are humble, we are strengthened in the grace of God, we are freed from the cares of this world, and we are able to assess the threats we face. When we are humble, we are able to stand firm in our faith, as we patiently endure suffering, knowing that our lives are hidden in Christ. When we are humble, we don’t have anything to prove on this earth, we don’t have a reputation to defend, and we don’t have to measure success the way everyone else does. In short, we are freed to live for the glory of God and the life to come instead of our own glory and the life we now have.
I decided to write a tribute of a different sort here. Although I could write much about the charming, generous, encouraging, loving, humble and generally fascinating man he was, I decided to reflect on the example he set. What did he do as a grandparent that made such a big impact on me, my siblings, and my cousins?
If we carelessly slander others, we participate in the work of the Devil. Let us be those whose judgments bear weight because we are known for being slow to speak and quick to listen. Let us be those who can truly expose wickedness because we have not become unwitting participants with the forces of darkness. Let us not be noisy gongs or clanging symbols, but let us be those whose character resembles Jesus Christ, in word and in action.
Our inheritance is Christ! And this is the greatest provision we can give to our natural and spiritual children. You may have inherited futility from your forefathers (1 Peter 1:18), but you can leave a rich spiritual inheritance to your children. Leave them with more than material goods: leave them with Christ!
Being a father is different than just being a teacher, a manager, or a leader: a father shapes the culture and behavior of a family, church, business, or organization in a foundational way that holds sway even after he is no longer present.