Matthew is thirteen, man enough to learn about the tougher points of life, child enough to interpret them in an open and innocent way. Last week he overheard his younger sister ask, “What will happen to Grandpa’s house and all of his things when he dies?”
Lisa, Matthew’s mom, described how a Last Will and Testament works, explaining that, sometimes, just when they ought to be comforting one another, family members argue about how to divide precious possessions after someone dies. She went on to tell about a friend whose parents passed away without a will, and of the tension that ensued as family members vied for the belongings of their lost loved one.
Why do we ever let our useless cravings for things get in the way of our love for each other?
Lisa is one of three sisters. They lost their mother years ago, but their father still lives nearby and is a vital member of family gatherings. Matthew, well acquainted with the dynamics of his relatives, thought for a moment and said, “In that case, grandpa definitely needs a will.” I suspect Lisa was pretty disappointed by Matthew’s response, but only for a moment.
Matthew went on to say, “I can just hear the three of you now…
‘No, you take that.’
‘No, you should have it.’
‘I want you to be the one…’”
Romans 12:20 reads, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Someday I will memorize those verses. For today, though, I hope you will join me in remembering (and trying to apply) these words:
No, you take that.