I took my spiritual heritage for granted. I assumed up until now well into adulthood, that my spiritual upbringing was the same as most everyone else who was brought up in the church. (I am beginning to realize that there is a difference between those “brought up in the church” and those “brought up in the Lord”).
Two things occurred to clear the cobwebs about a spiritual heritage from my mind. 1. A person we know recently has gone through Minister-In-Training classes at her church. (PS. I am telling a story here. I am not in agreement with this so just listen please). She stated that part of her training was memorizing the 66 books of the Bible. When this was retold to me, my response was an incredulous facial expression that said, “You don’t know the 66 books of the Bible? You are older than me? You were raised in church? How do you not know that?” I was truly dumbfounded. 2. I was with a group of children and, to help keep them entertained, I sang Jesus Loves Me FULLY expecting EVERYONE to join in. The ages of this group was 1-3 years old and I was assisted by a couple of teenagers in watching them. Two of the five little ones knew the song. Taking into account that some of the other children rarely sing anything at all and that they probably had not yet heard it enough to join in song, I was not completely surprised my this. However, I was SHOCKED to hear a TEENAGER say that they didn’t know all of the words. I masked my thoughts so I would not embarrass them but I was COMPLETELY stupefied by that statement.
Rethinking those two stories caused me to take stock of my spiritual heritage. I was not just “brought up in the church” attending church Sunday after Sunday, week after week. I saw the same faith I was hearing about in church LIVED out in front of me daily through my parents and how we, my three siblings and I, were taught to treat each other and others. We were brought up in the Lord.
I learned Jesus Loves Me from attending Sunday school BUT I learned NUMEROUS other gospel songs from listening to them all day everyday because that is all my mother listened to. She listened to them to get her through which meant we listened and learned them too. We attended Awana for years but we weren’t allowed to just attend and enjoy the fun stuff. No way. My father said we had to learn/memorize a section in our book each week and if we did not have that done, we weren’t allowed to watch TV or something like that. (Back then we were given books that had different sections to be signed off my your group leader once you recited your memory verse, books of the Bible, etc.) We also attended Christian School for three years but the Bible that we learned there only added to what we learned at home.
Those same songs and Bible verses kept me through rough years of high school and college. The words came back to me during dark times when the devil tried to sift me to make me ineffective for Christ or make choices that did not bring him glory. It is of the UTMOST importance that we pass a good spiritual heritage on to our children, regardless if you have received one (like myself) or not.