The only grandparent I ever knew was my mother’s mom. My other grandparents died before I was born. My dad’s father was a longtime elder in the church. Even though I never met him, in some ways I know him well by the many stories shared with me by people in the community in which I grew up in as a child.
My grandfather was the elder people would normally turn to in times of need. He had a generous heart, even though financially he was not well off. He raised 3 big garden plots and gave away almost everything he grew because he realized so many families were struggling during the depression and war years.
Grandpa Henry also had a sympathetic ear. He would listen… console …advise …and pray with those who frequently knocked on his door. I have lost count of the number of people who told me of their love for my grandpa’s words of prayer. In the words of one person, “Your grandpa prayed like he was talking to his best friend.”
He was a peacemaker, a skill often called upon by families in the church and outside. Since people respected him, he could negotiate agreements that tended to last.
Why am I sharing this information about my Grandpa Henry? Because my dad was nothing like my grandfather. He was difficult, argumentative, and not well-received. As a young man, I had to make a choice. I could either become more like the grandfather I never met, or I could become more like the father I had grown up with. I selected my grandfather as my role model because he modeled himself after the best example, Jesus the Christ.
I hear people often blame their parents for their own bad decisions and faulty character traits. In reality, each one of us decides who will have the most influence in our lives.
Who is impacting your life? The ultimate example is Jesus, our Lord. Are you modeling yourself after Him?