What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 ESV
One of my least favorite bumper stickers says, “We are spending our children’s inheritance” Usually this is on the back of a shiny new RV or expensive camper.
But Paul has better things in mind for us of the older generation. Of course the most important things we leave our children are not money or possessions. Paul begins by telling his friends, the inheritance he is giving them begins with what he has taught them. Our words to our children can hurt or heal; they can criticize or praise. Once a word is spoken it can never be unsaid and so it helps to slow down long enough to think before we launch into an angry lecture or sarcastic response.
Next Paul points his friends to the experiences they have shared together. Some of us plan events with our families such as a day at an amusement park or a meal at a fancy restaurant as a way of making memories. But Paul reminds his friends, of what they have seen, not of their “special” days but on their ordinary days together. When we walk with our family and loved ones with honesty, humility and grace they receive an eternal inheritance. In fact the most important thing that we will ever do is to pass along the peace that comes through our living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.