Answers

By   •   September 6, 2013   •   Topics: ,

Q:

My mother died a few months ago, and I can't believe how much squabbling there's been over her estate. She didn't have much (and she also didn't have a will), but it seems like everyone is trying to grab as much as they can. Why are people so selfish?


A:

One reason I wanted to reprint your letter is to encourage every reader to do everything they possibly can to avoid situations like this. God is not honored when conflicts like this break out, and unfortunately, resentment and jealousy (and greed) can poison a family for years to come.

Even if we have very little, it’s still better to make our wishes known through a legal will than to leave a legacy of conflict and bitterness behind. In Old Testament times, a number of laws dealt with inheritance, partly to avoid controversy. Jesus had nothing in the way of possessions, but before His death He made sure that His mother, Mary, would be taken care of (see John 19:25-27). The Bible says, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22).

What can you do? First, don’t add to the problem by demanding things that others clearly want. Yes, you may lose something that has sentimental value to you, but it’s better to do that than to lose a friendship. Perhaps your example will encourage others to do the same.

Then pray for your extended family. Right now, they aren’t at their best and they need to realize it and not let things take the place of Christ. Above all, never forget (and urge others in your family never to forget) that when we know Christ, we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade…. kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

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25 Comments

  1. Norine says:

    Thanks Dr.Graham for this valuable and timely advice which is so full of godly wisdom. Glory to God!

  2. linda says:

    We are going through a similar situation. ours isn't inheritance, actually, I really don't know the reason for such tension. I have decided to stay away till my daddy is admitted into a hospice nursing home. It will be much more peaceful there.

  3. Marvilyn says:

    Well said. Amen and Amen

  4. Aaron says:

    Praise the Lord! Pray for all of your family members! Amen

  5. Dolly ATWOOD says:

    i CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT GROWN ADULTS ACT LIKE THEY ARE OWED ANYTHING. IT IS A PREVELAGE TO RECEIVE ANYTHING THAT WAS NOT OURS. OUR PARENTS DIED AND THERE WERE EIGHT OF US AND WE DID NOT SQUABBLE OVER ANYTHING. WE WERE HAPPY TOGET WHAT WE DID

  6. Patricia says:

    This happened in my family. When our grandpa died, one of the children, (My dad's siblings) had their name put on the property instead of our grandmothers name. When it was found out what had happened, it was hard, but we got through it.

  7. Nick says:

    Amen. And Amen

  8. Margie says:

    It is a great blessing to know Christ, and to know that we have our inheritance kept in heaven.

  9. Angie says:

    Bless The Lord!

  10. wayne says:

    Amen to that.and praise god