2 Kings 17:41
Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
Often we believe that our worship is a personal decision. In society today especially, it is acceptable to be “religious” but it is a personal decision and no one should impose their views upon another person. It is true that we are responsible for our own faith. We can’t make a decision for anybody else despite how much we would like to or how much we prod them in a certain direction.
While we can’t make decisions for anyone else we do carry a great amount of influence with us. Our children and grandchildren are closely watching what we do. The Israelites saw the way that worship of God was mixed with idol worship and they followed suit.
Worship can also be cyclical. While this is a broad generalization, many people went to church in the 1950’s as a patriotic thing because Americans weren’t like godless communists. The next generation saw through worship that was shallow and just going through the motions. They rebelled against it and we had a generation of hippies. The following generation saw that the hippies’ activism got them nowhere and so they stood for nothing (Generation X). Finally our current generation has swung the other way and is into social issues and tries to be responsible citizens of the world.
Regardless whether the next generation will emulate us or see through what didn’t work, we have a responsibility to show them authentic worship. True worship will move people and be carried on to the following generation.