The Legacy

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 NKJV.

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4 NKJV.

You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. – 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 NKJV.

I wonder if Thomas Beach Scott is proud of his son, who is following in his career path as a…criminal. Police in Midwest City, Oklahoma were able to catch the father and son duo using a trailer that was equipped with a GPS tracking unit. Thomas and his son, Kyle, took the bait and made off with the trailer and thought they had succeeded once again with their theft. However, officers were able to track down the 41-year-old father and his 20-year-old son arresting them and charging them with grand larceny, possession of CDS, and drug paraphernalia. They are both currently (2010) residing in the Midwest City, Oklahoma Jail.

The reality of life is that children do learn from the behaviors of their parents. The writer of Proverbs is right in that you can train up a child in the way that they will live their lives, and that is the way they will live. The living example is seen with Thomas Scott and his son Kyle. Thomas has trained up his son to be a thief, and he has succeeded. It also appears that Thomas has succeeded in training up his son to be an abuser of illegal drugs. Perhaps there should be some type of special enhanced sentence for fathers like Thomas that so pervert the lives of their children. 

Consider those great men and women of God, who provide instead of a legacy of pain and grief, a legacy of righteousness. J. Hudson Taylor who founded the China Inland Mission touched countless lives through his faithfulness to God while he was living. Since his death, some of his descendants have continued in his footsteps that we know about including James Hudson Taylor III and James Hudson Taylor IV. In addition J. Hudson Taylor has inspired and influenced the lives of countless people, including Amy Carmichael, Eric Liddell, Jim Elliot, Luis Palau, and Billy Graham. Certainly, I was inspired too when I read his biography. What a wonderful legacy J. Hudson Taylor has given to his family and to this world.  

We are leaving a legacy with the way that we live our lives. It may be a legacy like that of Thomas Beach Scott, or it could be a legacy like that of J. Hudson Taylor. However, it is more likely that our legacy may be and probably will be somewhere in between. But make no mistake you are leaving a legacy by your actions, by your words, and even by your inactions while you are living here on this planet.

To those who had a father or mother like Thomas Scott, I want you to know that you can create a different kind of legacy beginning now by placing your life into the hands of Jesus Christ. He will help you to recreate your legacy into a legacy that will have an eternal impact for good upon all who know you and are touched by your life.

(The reality of life is that children do learn from the behaviors of their parents. We are leaving a legacy with the way that we live our lives.)

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