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When I was a child, I felt like a real chef when I was in the kitchen with my mom. Would she have been able to bake that pie faster without my “help”? Definitely. Did she really need me? Not a bit. But I needed her and needed to learn. Today, my grandsons climb up on a chair to help me in the kitchen. I love to pass on to them what I’ve learned. I love their “help”! We can all learn from each other, no matter our ages, and we can all pass on things of value. I’m not just talking about things that could be exchanged for a large sum of money, items collectors want, or stuff that could sell for big bucks at an estate sale. I’m talking about passing on the way we live, the way we talk, the way we treat others, and what we prioritize in life.

Someone Is Watching

I have people of all ages watching my life. You do too! When the apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, who was like a son to him, he told this younger man to not let anyone look down on him because of his age. Instead, Paul encouraged Timothy to set an example for all believers, no matter how old or young (1 Timothy 4:12). You can set an example for your parents, grandparents, and other older people.

What are you showing them? What have you learned and what are you learning that you can share with someone younger (or older) than you?

Yes, it may be knowledge about technology or current trends, but it may also be life lessons that you’ve learned in the good times and the bad. At the table, what topics are we discussing? As we stand in line at the restaurant, how are we treating those who pass by us? In the family room, what kinds of things are we watching on television or talking about? As we hang out in the locker room at school, are we standing up for what is right and against what is wrong? What gets priority in our daily schedule? We must be intentional about passing on the right things.

For those watching us, it could mean the difference between life and death spiritually. As a mother and grandmother, I want to pass on more than how to bake a perfect pie crust or cook a great meal, more than how to organize a drawer or sew on a button. I want to pass on things that really make a difference in life—how to study my Bible, how to talk to God, the importance of telling the truth, when to stop hanging out with certain people (and how to do that in a Christlike manner), how to love the unlovely, how to live with purpose, and how to make the best choices. I am intentional about carving out time to talk about tough issues. It doesn’t mean that every conversation we have is “heavy” with Scripture or “God talks,” but it does mean that every conversation could easily lead in that direction.

Live What You Have Learned

In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul reminds us to focus on things that have godly characteristics or value, not on things that would distract us from our Christian walk or displease God. If those things are our focus and become our life goals, what kind of influence can we have on those around us? I believe it will be the best kind, the kind that honors God and leads others to Him. That is why Paul, in the very next verse (4:9), encouraged the believers to live out the things they had learned from him and seen in him. How could he say that? Because his life had pointed them in the right direction. His influence has been seen for generations. That’s a much greater goal than baking the perfect pie. Live well, pass it on, and share the best “recipe” for life! This recipe might influence others now and for generations to come.

For more inspiring articles like this one, check out Velocity in D6 EveryDay Curriculum.

Becky Gwartney
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