“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children…”I read the posting on Facebook. It was a posting from the daughter of a friend. My friend, Jenny, passed away this fall. Her daughter commented on how she could still hear her mother’s words and even found herself saying her mother’s very words sometimes.
“Never stoop to their level,” is one of the lessons she could hear her mother saying.
I don’t think Jenny left her daughter vast wealth or a great fortune in the material sense. I don’t think her daughter inherited millions of dollars or property when Jenny died. But what Jenny left her daughter was far more valuable than money, property, silver or gold.
Jenny left a righteous inheritance. Jenny loved God. Jenny loved her daughter and all of the love that she had overflowed to her family, church and community. Jenny left her daughter something far more precious than rubies. She gave her wisdom. And not only did she give her words of wisdom, but she lived a life of wisdom and was an example of a godly woman.
Her daughter has left Jenny’s Facebook page active. Sometimes I read the postings from friends and family who continue to write to her although we know she is in heaven. The postings speak of the impact that Jenny had on their lives. They talk about how much they miss her. How much they love her. How much she helped them with her words of wisdom, comfort or encouragement. How they can still hear her voice, although her earthly presence is gone.
I think about how even when cancer had consumed her body, she praised God and how she had a smile on her face. I think of how even when she was in pain, she encouraged me. And although I mourn the fact that at the age of 45 she has left us, I marvel at the richness of her life and the impact that she had and how much she was loved by so many.
An inheritance is something of value. It is something that lasts long after we are gone. Jenny might not have left a lot of money. But what an inheritance she has given her daughter.
An inheritance doesn’t just mean money or stuff. Those things pass away too, just like our physical bodies. They can be destroyed, lost or deteriorate.
A righteous legacy, however, lasts for an eternity. An example of character and wisdom are valuables that we can leave our children and our children’s children. Not just telling our children about our faith in Jesus, but living our faith, are gifts that lead to eternal life for our families and loved ones. The life that Jenny lived and the lessons that she taught are a part of her daughter and I’m sure she will impart her mother’s life lessons and example to her own children one day.
My husband often quotes his grandmother who passed away nine years ago and will have a conversation with her, saying the words that he knew she would say, speaking into his own life the godly wisdom that she imparted while she was here. Her great-grandchildren sing her praises. People who she babysat speak of how she loved them and took care of them. She was kind. She was wise. She was everybody’s mother. She was a wife. She loved her husband. She loved her family. She loved her God. She left a righteous inheritance.
These women inspire me. I want to leave that kind of inheritance for my children and others who know me. I want to live that kind of life. I don’t just want to store up riches here to leave behind that will deteriorate. I pray that I live my life in such a way that I leave a righteous inheritance.
What inheritance are you leaving your children’s children?