In the book of Judges chapter 2 verse 10, is this ‘scary’ sentence “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”
I often wonder why the parents of that generation did not pass down to their children the same life-saving messages they had heard and the miracles they had experienced through God’s mercy. I think the answer for this is that the parents got too comfortable. They were in the ‘Promised Land’, they had more than enough, they had peace and protection, they were blessed beyond their dreams. Why bother too much about God, right?
Prior to that when they were in the desert going to the promised Land, they obeyed God, and waited in anticipation, but now there was no need for that. They gradually became passive and their children became worse: they forgot about God!
That’s the snare of passivity: it gradually leads to deterioration. We can see that in our societies today. Europe and America were foremost in serving God some decades ago. But as their societies prospered, they gradually began to relegate God to the background. Now only a tiny percentage regularly attend church in Europe, and some churches have been converted to tourist attractions, museums, residential houses or even pubs! And what about people’s behaviour? Well violent crimes are increasing and some are committed by children as young as ten.
Before you shake your head, think about your own life too. Are you allowing comfort to make you passive? Have you been so blessed that you feel reluctant to serve God as you once did (especially when things were not so good). Perhaps you now have the job, spouse, children, house, life, you always wanted and prayed for. Should you become relaxed about serving God?
If you have children, then you cannot afford to be passive. Children are not influenced by what you say, but what you do. If you are passive about God and even about them, your actions, not words will betray you. The greatest gift we can give them is the example of godly living and our presence, not just presents. Like the Israelites, when our children fail to serve God and learn valuable life's lessons, there are always painful consequences and unnecessary suffering. Spare them from that by choosing to remain active for God and active about your role as a parent.
Perhaps you are wondering what you can do. Well children require quality time and nurturing. Take time to talk with them, pray for them and with them. Teach them godly lessons, don’t let the TV and internet be the only source of information for them. Their teachers and government are not responsible for them, you are. Take time to go over what they are taught in school. Show them care and attention. Tell them regularly how proud of them you are, even though they are not always perfect. Let them know how much you love them. Praise them regularly. Treat them the way God treats you: with patience, love and kindness.
If you are not a parent, you still have to shun passivity at work, in school, in business, in relationships, etc. Don't take your blessing for granted. God loves excellence and faithfulness, it’s a sign of gratitude.
May God help us to indeed be the best at all He has entrusted to us, amen.