You Can’t Give What You Don’t Possess
I have a degree in science, and one of the most interesting things is the idea of inoculation or immunization. The idea is to give someone a small and weakened dose of an invasive disease. The body recognizes it, creates a defense system against it and then becomes immune, never to catch the full version of the disease.
This concept works well when it comes to smallpox, measles, chicken pox and polio. We basically give them a dead or nearly defeated version of chickenpox, and their body easily develops an immunity and they never catch the full blown disease. Quite a concept.
Yet when it comes to my kids, I don’t want them to become immune to the faith. I want them to catch or contract the full dose of Christ and all of his splendor. I don't want to give to them or pass onto them a dumbed down, defeated or dead version of Christianity. What I want to pass on to them is the full-fledged version of Christ-in-us and the hope of glory.
Personally, I want to have a faith that is worthy of being caught by my kids. I do not want to somehow inoculate them with some weakened variant of Christianity. I want my kids to have a faith that fully catches on and takes root, taking over their head, their heart and their soul.
Listen, you can't give or transmit what you yourself do not personally possess. In order to give or pass on faith to the next generation, truly, it must start with you. I'm not talking about something that happened 25 years ago at summer camp. Though that certainly could've been a beginning.
What I'm talking about is an everyday faith that is giving lordship to Jesus Christ in all you do. A faith that has visible and unmistakably obvious external symptoms. A faith that you can give away to your kids is a faith that you are daily affected by. A faith you are depending on in order to make it through your tough times, your struggles, your triumphs and joys.
Here is the thing, Dueteronomy 4:9 reads, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
You see, much more is caught and taught. My children closely observe how I live my life. I want to have a contagious faith.
I want my faith to be contracted by my children and in turn to my children’s children. I want to have a faith that is worth being caught.
- Recall: How can children become immune to the faith?
- Reflectd: Are you passing on a weakened faith, or an unmistakable, contagious faith to your children?
- Respond: Are you living out a half dead or weakened faith? How can you live out an honest, unmistakable faith?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to have a faith worthy of being caught?