We are truly a blessed people when we can leave an inheritance to our children, grandchildren and others. Our forefathers and foremothers were a people who were simply trying to survive and provide for their immediate families. Not only can some of us provide for our families, but we are in a position to leave an inheritance for our children and grandchildren, hopefully. It may be something very minute or something grand. Just the thought of leaving an inheritance is worthy of celebrating. What we must remember though is that an inheritance is not an entitlement or obligation. It is a love gift.
An inheritance is a financial term describing the assets passed down to individuals after someone dies. Take time to assess all the material blessings God has provided to us and how we wish to leave them once we have died. Otherwise, we may just leave a big mess.
Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
It is mindboggling trying to understand how some people imprudently leave their inheritance. There is one thing I learned from my father who said, “If you own something, it was your choice to leave it to whoever you wish and however you wish. In so many cases, there is a danger to leaving an inheritance to a family member to whom the parents know will not be able to sustain or keep the possession. Think about leaving a home to a child that you know cannot or will not be able to pay the taxes on the property. Leaving an inheritance is a serious matter and we should give serious thought to our legacy and how we leave our possessions. One of the rules to leaving an inheritance is to ensure it is done fairly and in decency and order.
I recently heard a dear friend of mine make the following statement: “You cannot dictate or control your inheritance from the grave.” The point is that we can put all kinds of stipulations in place, but it must be done before we close our eyes for the last time. Whatever we do must be done with integrity and an open heart and mind. Too often parents make a difference in their children and create an unnecessary family scandal or squabble once they are deceased.
The mistake a child can make is giving parents special attention only when they are on their dying beds. All of us may know of a case where a child has been estranged from its parents, but when the time has come to divide the treasury, they show up.
If you wish to see a family divided, torn, devastated or appalling, just leave behind just a little money to be divided without any guidance. You may witness one of the greatest fights of all times. If you don’t want a fight, leave it right.
If you want to witness a professional family scheme, get old and leave your business undone. One of the most disheartening criminal scams is when a family member tries to get over on other family members by conniving with the parents behind the backs of other siblings. A good example of this would be the story about Esau and Jacob.
Sometime parents make a terrible mistake when they use an inheritance to bait their children. Just a word of caution. It may be wise to defer letting the child know what the inheritance will be. The practical thing to do is simply love, respect and appreciate each other while we can. Threats may be made to a child that if they do not do as we suggest or expect, we will take them out of our wills. Nonsense, for God wants us to live a prosperous life and our prosperity may be shared with our loved ones if they so deserve it.
The emphasis in this message has been basically on earthly possessions, but the apostle Paul talks about doing everything as for the Lord because we know our ultimate reward is not from earthly things, but receiving our inheritance from God as found in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
There is a promise of an inheritance from God, but not to everyone. The inheritance of eternal life is reserved for those who believe in Jesus. Now that is the best news that I could share with anyone in this message.
Just like we wish to leave an inheritance to our children, our heavenly Father gives us an inheritance as well.
We are taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21.
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade