Do you ever think about the lasting impact of your life? I think about that–a lot. What will I leave behind? What will I leave behind in my wife, children, and friends that makes a difference? Sometimes it seems that nothing will last. Or at least that is what it feels like. There are days when I wonder if my life is really making a difference. Sometimes those thoughts happen in the middle of a very discouraging week. Yet, I think that I know better.
What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be remembered for? What would you like for your children to pass on to your grandchildren? I can’t really express how important this is to me. This business of leaving a legacy has really altered the way I view life. Is there someone who has been a part of your life whose legacy has made all the difference? Maybe it is your Dad or Mom. Maybe it was another relative. Perhaps you have had a good friend all of these years whose investment in your life has made significantly altered your life.
The other day I was with a grandfather who has been spending one day per week with his young grandchildren for a number of years. He said, “I am tired of the contemporary view of grandparenting which amounts to little more than play with the grandchildren, spoil them, and then give them back to their parents. I am about ministry. I spend this time every week with these young grandchildren because there is a legacy that I want to leave with them. I want to help shape their lives and pass on some values that have been very important in my life. That is my ministry.” I think he is right on target.
What is life about? Leaving a legacy that is worth something. Leaving the family a fortune. No, I don’t mean a great amount of money. I mean a legacy that is worth a fortune. Something that can be passed on through generations. Here a couple of things that I want to pass on:
1. I want to pass on Jesus. Not just Jesus preached (I obviously believe that is pretty important). I would hope that maybe my children saw a little bit of him in me.
2. I want to pass on to my wife the legacy of a man who took his commitments seriously. I want Charlotte to remember that she could trust me. I want my girls to remember that their Dad was faithful to their family.
3. I want to pass on to my children the importance of treating people right. No matter whom they are. No matter how wealthy or how poor. I want them to remember the importance of paying debts, keeping promises, and being genuinely interested in people.
4. I want to pass on to my children the special place of the Word of God in their lives. I want them to know that they can have confidence in Scripture as it points them to God, revealing his will and desires for their lives.
5. I want to pass on to the churches that I served the importance of personal integrity and having a passion for God.
I find this exciting! Just think–God can use us to make such a profound difference in people in ways that last long after we are gone.
What about you? As you begin this week, are you ready to live in a way that is consistent with the legacy that you wish to pass on? Is there anything going on in your life right now that just is not consistent with the legacy that you want to leave?
This week will you be about something that really counts? Have you already placed on your calendar something that is part of the legacy that you want to leave?