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Inheriting the Wind

February 2nd, 2009

Focus Text: Proverbs 11: 29 (NLT)

 29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind.
      The fool will be a servant to the wise.



Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Colloquialisms are often stated with little thought of their implications in reality. One in the hand is worth two in the bush.  A penny saved is a penny earned.  Man who run in front of car get “tired;” man who run behind car get “exhausted.”  Okay, I was just kidding with those last two, but you get the point.

The phrase “inherit the wind” has definite negative connotations.  It refers to receiving something detrimental from one’s negative actions.  But I wonder if we can extrapolate something deeper from the phraseology of this expression.

Consider the Biblical context of this idea.  “Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind.”  The subject of this concept isn’t just someone who makes mistakes.  It refers specifically to the person who deliberately hurts their own families by their actions.  Now, I know that all of us are guilty of bringing inadvertent pain to our loved ones.  Teenage mistakes.  Words spoken in anger. Difficult changes in family dynamics.  Hey, family is family and we all know that we are prone to hurt most deeply those for whom we care most deeply.

But at the end of the day, our families are the greatest gift of stability and love given to us by God.  There is always conflict, but there is also always forgiveness.  The deliberate troubling of one’s family brings a different kind of inheritance . . . inheriting the wind.

The wind has no home.  No stability.  It blows this way and that with no rhyme or reason.  The wind doesn’t stay in one place and there is no predicting it’s next destination.  The wind is unharnessed and undefined.  Inheriting the wind produces a life with no place to call home.  No family means a windmill existence . . . and life devoid of stability . . . no place to come home to.

In my business, there are those unfortunate moments when I witness a person who deliberately brings trouble upon their families.  The results have always been indicative of this verse.  Wind-like moments of heartache and loss follow the decisions to abandon the sanctity of family.  One blown about by these whirlwinds of trouble usually regret their decisions.  One can only hope that there is time and opportunity to reconcile and redeem the family situation before it’s too late.

This verse then couples this family truth with another piece of wisdom: “the fool will be a servant to the wise.”  In essence, this simply means that foolishness will always be trumped by wisdom and when people make foolish decisions, they will find themselves playing catch up to those who make wise decisions.  This is not about domination or competition; it’s simply a biblical principle.

Family and wisdom are the two antitheses to an inheritance of the wind.  The good news adjacent to these sobering reflections of trouble and foolishness is that we are a part of the ultimate family.  A family whose Father is the Creator of restoration and forgiveness.  In this family, the mercy of the Father that is new every morning resides within the hearts of each child and is transferable between family members. 

We don’t have to inherit the wind . . . we can inherit the love and grace of our Father instead.  In Him, we have a stable home.  We have a family and there is always the opportunity to strengthen it.  There is always the existence of home.

I love my family dearly and I’m sure you do too.  Let’s all tell them today and take hold of the inheritance of love . . . it sure beats the wind.


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