“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of (from) me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”2 Timothy 2:1-2
I bet you can point to someone who played a pivotal role in your life. Someone who may have been your school teacher, Sunday school teacher, family member, coach, or mentor who made an impact on you. Someone who was faithful in teaching you something you needed to learn, and who took the time to show care, tenderness and love to you. Someone who saw something in you that maybe no one else saw, and saw you for who you could be and not necessarily for who you were at the moment. Someone who realized the potential in you even though you may not have seen it in yourself.
My parents did not grow up in Christianity, so I grew up in a first generation Christian home. I am not sure how much different my life would be if my parents were not saved, and I am not sure I would want to know. God blessed me with the opportunity to grow up in a Christian home, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. My parents were fairly new Christians when I was born, and they were learning how to live the Christian life as they were learning to raise me. They valued the importance of living the Christian life, and they valued walking the talk. My parents were by no means perfect, but I saw two people who strove to live the Christian life. They were not fully supported by family members, and sometimes they made hard decisions that ostracized them from other parts of the family. They desired to follow God rather than to appease their fellow man.
Whether or not you want to admit it, children are always watching and learning from the life you live. They see behind the curtain and beyond the facade of outward appearance and they see the true you. The truth will always come out. I am grateful for the times I was taken to church, the times I was forced to go to youth outings, and the times I was sent to camp. I am thankful for the time we spent in prayer and the devotions we had at night, even though I did not always appreciate them at the time. I did not always have an open ear to what I was being taught, but it did not prohibit my parents from teaching me the things of God. I know they desired for me to do well in school, but more than anything, they desired that I live for God.
I remember my parents writing in my year book when I was a little kid, and they always signed off with a phrase about their desire that I live for God. They were consistent in wanting that for my life, and I can say that it is true still to this day. I am grateful for the spiritual teaching and upbringing I received in my home, and you never know what God can do in the life of someone. I know some saw me as a destitute teenager, but my parents desired more for me and knew that with God, all things were possible. I am grateful for all those who were faithful in teaching me in the things of God, no matter how big or small. They cast a vision for me of what God can do in a life that is surrendered to Him.
Who are you teaching today? Who is observing your life and learning from how you live? Who are you intentionally mentoring? Who do you need to reach out to and teach in the ways of God? Who have you given up on that needs to be encouraged and reminded of truth? May we be faithful in teaching others the faith that was passed down to us, and may we never forget those who took the time to teach us. Life is short, so we must teach the next generation the things of God we have been taught, so they may carry on to future generations the godly heritage we have been given. May we be faithful to teach the next generation, and may we live as if eternity depends on it, because it does.