Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
-John 13:35 NLT
Someone had failed to pass it on.
A popular talk-show host called down a seventeen-year-old for a test. She showed her a table on which were a road map—the hard copy kind—a Yellow Book, and a rotary phone. The test: refold the map, look up a number in the phone book, and call the place of business.
After watching the young lady struggle for a few minutes with the map, the host took it away. Then when the young woman couldn’t find the phone number, the host gave her the number written down on a sheet of paper. Finally, the teenager managed to call the number, but she made one fatal error: she forgot to lift the receiver before dialing the number.
Evidently, her parents had not passed on these abilities to her. Perhaps, they didn’t have them themselves. Or maybe they thought the advancements in technology nullified knowing such things.
As a young boy, I and many others sang the popular children’s song, “Pass It On.” The song’s lyrics encouraged us to pass on God’s love to others, which certainly included other generations.
Seeing the young lady’s struggle with the phone book, I decided to try an experiment with the middle schoolers I taught. Instead of giving the definition of their spelling words, I made them look them up in a hard-copy dictionary. As with the young lady on the show, I watched them struggle. A couple managed only to find one word in a thirty-minute span. Many others found only six. Although I enjoy technological advances, I had to wonder if they weren’t dumbing down our young people.
Jesus said the love believers have for each other would convince the world we belong to Him. And His love is something we don’t need to forget to pass along to the generations that follow us.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
-John 13:34 NLT
But there’s more. We should pass along acts of kindness, forgiveness, family traditions, our unique knowledge on how to accomplish certain things, survival techniques, and other practical things. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control are also worthy traits to pass along. When we don’t pass these things on to our families and friends, the succeeding generations forget how they look. Before long, we might be like the young girl who didn’t know how to do things that once held great importance.
If we forget to pass along essential things, the world will become a lonely place. But when we remember, we help resurrect the world as God intended and intends it to be.
Think of a few essential things you can pass on to your family.
Father, give me the wisdom to pass on important things to the generations that follow me.