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OUR INHERITANCE Past, Present and Future Part 3
by Loretta Leonard
12/09/08
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PART III---OUR FAMILY AND RELATIVES

ďWhy do you think I work so hard? Iím trying to make life better for you. Donít you appreciate what Iím doing? Dad sputtered as he raised his voice.
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ďWhy canít you spend some time going to my football games? You always say that you will come but something always comes up. You just donít care!Ē remarked Chad. The anger sounded in his voice and the reddish color on his face verified that he was annoyed.
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ďYou know you will never amount to anything. Youíre lazy, worthless, and good for nothing.Ē Mom exclaimed in the kitchen.
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ďAll you ever do is criticize me. I canít do anything right.Ē moaned Mark.
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ďMy life sure would be a lot different if I had better parents. Mine were stupid and didnít give me any guidance or help. They always complained and when they werenít griping over something they beat the liviní daylights out of me.Ē Derek remarked to Todd, his best friend.
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ďNow you listen to me young lady. Youíre grounded. Didnít I tell you to be home by 11:00 PM? Itís midnight and your only excuse is that you forgot about the time. You canít drive for two weeks and you have to pick up some of the slack here at home. Just wait until you have a child. I hope it acts the same way you do. Then you will appreciate what I have gone through,Ē Mother emphatically replied.
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ďDo you know exactly how proud I am of you? You bring home good report cards, do all your tasks on time, even taking out the garbage, and always let me know where you are going be before you leave, complimented Mom.
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During those years when I lived with my parents I was learning several lessons about life. My parents were the ones who taught me to walk and speak while I was young but as I grew up they imposed boundaries and instruction about how to handle life. I experienced a whole range of emotions and more than once I thought I knew more than them. I usually discovered that even if I did, they had the last word on what I did or didnít do.

My parents worked hard to prepare me for the future. I was fortunate enough to have both a Mom and a Dad. It was a complete family unit not unlike many homes today. They were interested in my school years and provided me a safe place to live. My heart goes out to children who have had to live in homes where alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty cast a negative influence on their past. Sometimes parents have a criminal background which makes life as a young person extremely hard. Single parents, divorce and abusive parents shape the lives of many children who have to learn how to cope in these negative situations. No one has a perfect role model and although life can be difficult we canít change the environment in which we live, at least not when we are young. How we grow up and the values we learn during our time at home have a big impact on our quality of life.

There is a trend today to dump all the problems of the past into the laps of our parents. When we blame our parents or the lack of parents for the problems we face today we avoid facing up to our own responsibility to take charge of our own life. Parents, I think, have every intention to do what is right for their children but often they are carrying their own baggage from the past. They did not have a perfect parent and many times they donít know how to make the correct choices to rise above their past. Itís our attitude and character that we develop which will help us to rise above the problems of the past. Itís not the past that determines who we become.

I understand that many young people may not have had a good role model or perhaps had to live in a home where there was only one parent. It may be a struggle at times to overcome the difficult challenges placed before us. Remember though that no one has to repeat the patterns of the past. Managing my future is all about making decisions that seem right and if they are the wrong choices and then find a better choice. The past most certainly shaped me but the future is completely up to my ability to dream and the determination to follow that dream.

Application: Isaiah 43:18--Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. (NIV)


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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