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Saturday, September 21, 2019
Baptist Church

Righteousness Over Happiness

Thursday, January 22, 2015 View Comments Comments (0)

"For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever."  Psalm 112:6

What is it about your life that you want remembered?  What is your plan for seeing that come about?  There are certain things the Bible tells we can do that will outlast everything else and in our text we see that passing on righteousness is one of those things.

Psalm 112:1-2 (NLT) says, "How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying His commands.  Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed."  There are many things this world says are worth being remembered for, but according to our text if we are successful, and our children are not followers of Christ, we have failed.  If our bank accounts are increasing, and yet, we're not imparting godly values to the next generation, I submit to you that we have failed.  I would go so far as to even say to the faithful Christian leader - if we lead a successful ministry, but we don't make disciples at home, we have failed.

As a parent and as a leader I must see the urgency of passing on to the next generation that which will outlast everything else.  We can't afford to get sloppy and then all of a sudden think we can play catch up with the third generation.  Our text says, "their children will be successful," not their grandchildren.

I believe the inability to pass a lasting legacy to the third generation is due to some common mistakes we make as parents and leaders.  The first common mistake we make is we risk too little.  I grew up in a generation that walked to school, dove off the high dive at the city pool and played outside in my neighborhood with no cell phone and the only rule was to be home before dark.  Now I'm not saying that common sense and safety aren't important, but I believe we've protected the next generation from the blessing of failing and it will impact the third generation.

The second mistake we've made is to rescue too quickly.  This is why parents are up late completing their children's science projects or running their jackets or lunch money they forgot to school instead of letting them be cold or go hungry for a day.  No wonder a recent study showed that 85% of those under the age of 32 will move back home at least one time after the age of college.  We say, "Come home baby and you can sit on my sofa and play video games all day while we pay the bills."  When we protect the next generation from the natural consequences of bad decisions we condemn the third generation.

Probably the worst thing we do is reward too frequently.  We give them something they should actually earn and when things don't come that easy in their adult life whether it's at work or even in their relationships they get frustrated and quit.

The key problem in all of this is we have bowed down and worshiped at the altar of happiness.  Our wedding vows should be changed to: "I promise before God, to be faithful to this person, for better or for worse, as long as we both shall live, and as long as they make me happy."  We've changed the Scripture "Be holy as I am holy," to "Be happy as I am happy."

You say, "Then what is the solution?"  I know when we pursue happiness it will always be elusive.  If you go back to Psalm 112:1 "How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying His commands," you'll see that the goal shouldn't be happiness, but rather pleasing God.  Happiness, joy and contentment are always the byproduct of a life lived for the glory of God.

I want to pass on to the next generation something that will outlast anything this world has to offer.  I want to live a righteous life and teach the next generation to do the same.  Isaiah 51:6 says, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever and my righteousness will never be dismayed."  Give them heaven not happiness and happiness will come on it's own.

david ><{('>


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