“What matters in the end is the legacy that you leave behind. It is neither your wealth nor your various accomplishments that are the deciding factors but the seeds of love that you sowed. People will remember you for your acts of kindness, compassion, benevolence, piety, sympathy and the thoughtfulness that you had in your heart for others.”
― Latika Teotia
I recently had my first grandchild. It makes a person think even more about the legacy you want to leave for your family. The most important of these is a deep devotion to God… piety. I want my children and grandchildren to think back when I am on the other side of eternity and remember my love for God and my love for them. I want them to remember me singing songs of praise, reading Bible stories with them and applying what we read to how we are to live our lives. I want them to know that being kind, compassionate, caring, and thoughtful aren’t just things we SHOULD do…they are things we do because God shows those same things to us. All we have to do is love God and love our neighbors no matter how hard it may be. For all God has done to redeem us, it’s the best thing we can do to show our gratitude.
God loves you and so do I,
photo courtesy of howtoadult.com
Quote courtesy of latikateotia.com
What is piety, really? One dictionary defines it as the quality of being religious or reverent. My Bible dictionary calls it “holy living.” Various Bible translations identify it with “the fear of the Lord” or “righteousness.” It’s not a word we use much anymore. In fact, it’s gotten a rather bad name because it’s so much easier to recognize false piety (in other words, hypocrisy) than true piety. Often we think of truly pious people as “goody-goodies,” prudes, or those who are “so heavenly minded, they’re of no earthly use.” Or maybe we regard piety as an unrealistic goal for most of us — something a few great saints might possess, but not attainable for most of us. Maybe we don’t even want to try to be pious because in our culture, it would set us apart as strange or different.
Here’s what Philip Spener, a German Lutheran theologian who has been dubbed ‘the Father of Pietism’ has to say:
“Students should unceasingly have it impressed upon them that holy life is not of less consequence than diligence and study, indeed that study without piety is worthless….whoever grows in learning and declines in morals is on the decrease rather than the increase … everything must be directed to the practice of faith and life.”
or as James, the brother of Christ puts it:
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” James 2:26
Christian study, worship and fellowship should lead to a life that is increasingly pious, or holy. Lutherans (and I’m sure lots of others) call this process sanctification, and although we’re never finished, it’s not a pie-in-the-sky goal either. Piety is what the Christian life is all about. I look forward to exploring it further with our authors and readers this month.
“The first love is drunken. When the intoxication wears off, then comes real marriage love.”
Which kinds of love is Luther talking about? Eros and then agape? storge? philia?? Or is married love really a combination of all of these? We feel different sorts of love for each other at different times?