“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”
One thing that every person should realize is that life is short, and that there is another generation that will soon take our place. James 4:14 says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” As quickly as we go through this life, we should always be cognizant of the fact that another generation is following us. There are several responsibilities we have concerning the next generation.
First, don’t hand the next generation a mess. I’m afraid that we often don’t take into consideration what we are doing to the next generation by our present actions. I believe it is imperative that we try to be sure that we don’t live our life in such a manner that the next generation must clean up what we have done. When it comes to your finances, be sure you don’t leave the next generation with debt. When it comes to your testimony, don’t leave the next generation with luggage that they will abhor you because of the embarrassment and load that it brings to them. Certainly, nobody is sinless, but we don’t have to leave them wishing that they were never a part of our lives. You have a responsibility to leave the next generation an example, not a mess to clean up.
Second, give the next generation what the previous generation gave you. One thing that you are required to do is to be sure that the next generation knows how they are to live according to the Scriptures. The previous generation gave you an example of how to live; now it is your responsibility to give that example to the next generation. Don’t be so wrapped up in your life and agenda that you don’t take the time to pass on to the next generation what they should believe according to the Scriptures. If the next generation is not taught, they will then teach themselves which will result in godless living and destructive actions. You have been handed a heritage, be sure to pass that heritage on to the next generation.
Third, don’t discourage the next generation by comparing them to your generation. I believe one thing that is destructive is constantly comparing one generation to the next. The benefit of studying previous generations is that their lives are a written book; whereas, the present generation is still writing the book of their lives. The constant comparing of one generation to the next only leads to discouragement and a disdain that they are never good enough. Instead of comparing one generation to the next, encourage the next generation to do something great for the LORD with what has been given them.
Fourth, accept the next generation because you are training them how to treat the following generation. Always understand that the next generation will not always do things the way you do them because they have technologies that you did not have. Don’t let the advancement of technology be the divider between you and the next generation. Remember that you were once where they are, and you probably got frustrated that the previous generation didn’t accept you because of how you utilized newer technology. Your desire should be to have such a rapport with the next generation that they will want to come to you for your guidance. You will be able to lead them if you don’t run them off.