When we get older, we have a sense of truth and emotional maturity that is a blessing to our children and treasure to our grandchildren. How can we help them so that the legacy of maturity benefits them now and not when they get older? That is an as difficult a question to pose as any I have asked in writing these blogs. For maturity comes with age and seldom comes from advice. We all have this independent attitude toward making our own decisions and like to think we have the capacity to make good decisions based on information we have.
I look back at my life and wonder why I did so many of the things I did from large to small that were damaging to me and sometimes to others. E. Stanley Jones in his daily meditation today speaks of three possible attitudes toward reality.
First, escapes it;
second, rebels against it;
and third cooperates with it.
I have found in my own life that the first two bring disaster, sadness and hurt. If I cooperate with reality, I will have the resources to deal with it.
One of the most common methods of escaping reality is through drugs and alcohol. I met a guy at the dog park yesterday who said the reason that Denver has seen such a surge in people was the legalization of grass/marijuana. He proudly said that is why he came. I wondered at that moment what it was about his life that he needed to escape. You might ask someone who hates where he lives why he drinks and he might respond, “It’s the shortest way out of this awful place I live.” You could substitute a bad marriage or a bad job, etc.
Why is it that so few in our world have the courage to face up to their issues? The problem never goes away when you escape and the escape needs to be longer and deeper to actually be effective. It is the law of “diminishing return.” If you are unhappy, you seem to be happy with drugs or alcohol; if you are inhibited, you seem to be free; if you are inferior, you seem to be superior, at least for the duration of the high.
I had a father that drank too much and friends and I, for a time, escaped into either drugs or alcohol. I only came to facing reality with prayer and the grace of God. I believe without God’s help we will have a difficult time facing so many of our issues. Only God brings true happiness and joy that lasts and is sustainable. Don’t think a personal weakness is a social strength. That is compensation and rationalization. Elvin M. Jellinek says, “inferiority feelings may be present in some degree in all drinker-types.” Note he says drinker types rather than drunkard-types. Dr. A. E. Carver says, “Alcohol, by producing euphoria, blunting the critical power and progressively relaxing inhibitions, permits a flight from reality.” Drinking, as Jones points out, is the refuge for the weak; it is a crutch for lame ducks.
My question for you is if you have conquered this crutch, how do you pass this wisdom to your children and grandchildren? If you have not conquered this crutch…why not? The legacy you leave is going to be affected by every good and bad decision you make right now. How important is that legacy to you?
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This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.