“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.” (Genesis 18:19)
Our family just returned from a vacation in Hawaii. While on the islands I was introduced to a Hawaiian word: kuleana. It is defined as right, privilege, concern or responsibility. The idea is that responsibility is not merely a chore but a value and privilege. It is not so much a “have to” but a “get to”. One Hawaiian blogger writes: “It is my kuleana to teach my children and grandchildren their native culture and the values and belief of our family.”
This makes me think of Abraham. In Genesis 18, we find a fascinating story. God is ready to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for its sexual perversion and violence, but before He does He makes an appearance to His chosen servant. The LORD is actually reasoning with Himself as to whether or not He will tell Abraham what He is about to do. God decides to tell him, but before He does He gives an interesting insight into His own heart. God chose Abraham in order that he would direct his children and household after him to keep the way of the LORD. Abraham would teach his children and grandchildren what was right and just. He would share his faith and values with successive generations. In this way God would be able to fulfill all the promises that He made to Abraham and His descendents. We need only look at the Jews today–their culture, beliefs and habitation in the land God promised to Abraham–to see that God made a good choice, made good on His promises, and that Abraham took ownership of his kuleana.
I wonder if we are really taking hold of our kuleana. I look at my children (now adults) and grandson. Their lives, the people they influence, and their future generations have such great potential. I have the privilege of investing in their future. Do I view this as a “have to” or a “get to”? Am I taking full advantage of my God-given role to pass on my faith and values to others?
Searle Wailana Grace (the aforementioned blogger pictured above with his wife) puts it this way: “How honored I am to be able to have this responsibility of having children and grandchildren to share my knowledge, stories and thoughts.”
What is your kuleana? And what is your attitude concerning this responsibility? Being grateful for the privilege entrusted to you can change your perspective. It can also make you much more fun to live with! But even more importantly, it could be the means by which God is able to bless you and the future generations whom you are privileged to influence.
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