How well should we know our family tree
Born on Friday, in church on Sunday. That pretty much sums up my church history. So basically my entire life, I have the opportunity to read the first 17 verses of Matthew, but I never understood the importance of listing Jesus’ genealogy. Sure, for the Biblical skeptics, having the family tree of Jesus helps understand the historical significance of his bloodline, but what is its significance to me?
A great-uncle of mine once researched how the Biles side of my family tree grew. He spent decades of exhausting research to put a book together. I read it once and basically learned not much more than who I am related to. But what if I took this one step further and learned the characters that make up my family tree. Do I have writers in my tree? What about inventors or business professionals? Is there a thread running through my tree that can help me discover who I am today?
What does my family tree look like
We have the luxury of seeing Jesus’ family tree in the Bible. What I love seeing is the imperfections in his lineage. In His family tree we see Kings, murderers, prostitutes, saints and sinners. That means, my family tree doesn’t have to be perfect. Regardless of what it looks like, God can use my history for his plan.
I think now on what kind of legacy to I want to encourage as I add my branch to the family tree. Jess and I raise our children with one overwhelming character trait that we put above all others. That trait is to love each other. That being said, I fail each day at keeping this moral code above all others.
It’s not easy.
The thoughts in my mind, the words from my mouth, and the looks I glance throughout the day betray my desire to have strong roots in love. But guess what? Each mistake I make allows for God’s grace. If I want to grow a strong legacy of love in my family, then all I have to do is keep this as the center of my daily life. Yes, it is easier said than done, and that is why I don’t rely on my own abilities to give my tree strong roots, I rely on Him.
Create a proud legacy, not a tired one
With a show of hands, how many of my readers can look at either their family tree, or of someone they know, and feel sadness overcome their heart? I think of all the protests we are seeing in the news. These protest are predominately fighting one thing. They are fighting hundreds of years of systemic prejudice and racism. But how can these problems continue to exist generation after generation?
The simply answer can be found in each of our family trees. Wherever it started, some family trees produce fruit and branches of hate and discord. But each one of us has the opportunity to cut turn the color of that thread to one of love and acceptance. Sure, not everyone will agree with your thinking, but if your actions are in love, then the tree will no longer be poison.
If you are frustrated with all the hate in this world, I have one piece of advice. Look inward instead of outward. If your inward is of love, then focus on influencing out of love and not hate. The more family trees we have producing fruit of love, the faster we can change the systemic problems of this country and then of the world.
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