Cyprian of Carthage: Unfair and Traitorous

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I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. Psalm 37:25-26

“Neither should you think that he is father to your children who is both changeable and infirm, but you should obtain Him who is the eternal and unchanging Father of spiritual children. Assign to Him your wealth which you are saving up for your heirs. Let Him be the guardian for your children; let Him be their trustee; let Him be their protector, by His divine majesty, against all worldly injuries. The state neither takes away the property entrusted to God, nor does the exchequer intrude on it, nor does any forensic calumny overthrow it. That inheritance is placed in security which is kept under the guardianship of God. This is to provide for one’s dear pledges for the coming time; this is with paternal affection to take care for one’s future heirs, according to the faith of the Holy Scripture, which says: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed wanting bread. All the day long he is merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” And again: “He who walketh without reproach in his integrity shall leave blessed children after him.” Therefore you are an unfair and traitorous father, unless you faithfully consult for your children, unless you look forward to preserve them in religion and true piety. You who are careful rather for their earthly than for their heavenly estate, rather to commend your children to the devil than to Christ, are sinning twice, and allowing a double and twofold crime, both in not providing for your children the aid of God their Father, and in teaching your children to love their property more than Christ.”

Cyprian of Carthage (190-258) in his Treatise 8. On Works and Alms, 19.

These last few days, the Scriptures and this treatise have really opened my eyes to something. Let me explain. The human tendency says that I have to look after my children.

This often leads to spoiling them with material possessions and leaving them a measure of wealth.

This says some thing different. What comes into view as the best way to bless my children is to choose the path of righteousness and generosity and watch God supply for me and them as a way of life.

Notice in today’s Scripture that the children of the one who is generous and lends freely will be a blessing.

Want your children to connect to the person of Christ instead of property? Don’t be an “unfair and traitorous” parent. Show your children righteousness and generosity as the only way to live.

I have hope for the next generation in the Cayman Islands because of the group pictured above.

Yes, that’s me in the back right side with the community of stewards that will collaborate to form a peer accountability group for the Cayman Islands as a light to the Caribbean and the world. It was an impressive group.

They want to exhibit greater accountability, transparency, and integrity to win the generosity and the engagement of the community and especially the next generation. It will happen by the grace of God.

Thanks for your prayers for our GTP meetings in this beautiful place with amazing people.

And don’t forget to register here to journey with GTP through Lent, starting on Wednesday. To get a head start, download Lent Companion here and think about what you will fast from this Lent to make more space for Jesus.