LEAVING A LEGACY ~ Part 1
As we all know, making a provision for the future is being wise and a legacy is something that remains long after we leave this world – something that speaks of our lives. The term legacy gets a lot of attention these days and has both positive and negative connotations. But what it boils down to, is “Living a life that is worth imitating”. The apostle Paul said “Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). Legacy as we will see, will involve living intentionally and aiming to build into the next generations for their success.
When the fateful Black Monday happened on Oct 19, 1987, and stock markets in the US crashed, a reporter asked Jack Eckerd, Chairman of the then-popular “Eckerd Drug Stores”, if he lost a lot of money because of the crash. Mr Jack Eckerd replied, “At the end of the day, money is just paper. Remember, a U-Haul truck never followed a hearse”. Essentially Jack Eckerd implied, earthly possessions matter very little at the end of one’s life!!
Making provision for the future is simply being wise, and as it turns out, there are great spiritual lessons we can glean from God’s word about the concept of a Lasting Legacy. Planning ahead for the two generations is lauded in the wisdom literature. In Proverbs 13:22 it says “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children".
Leaving a Legacy involves far more than handing down a monetary inheritance or passing on a good name. For those things will surely pass away and forever be forgotten. A lasting legacy would be the one that is written on our hearts and the hearts of our loved ones – faith in Jesus Christ as the son of the Living God and the Savior of the world.
As our children grow up, they may not perceive faith as something precious and invaluable, especially if they have been raised in a Christian home and an environment of a church. With such a background, the value of a Godly Heritage may not be immediately apparent to them. However, as they grow up, what they will remember, are the “stones of faith”, that we have gathered for them, taught them and lived as examples for them.
Everybody leaves a legacy whether they plan to or not. Everything we say and do leaves the imprint of our lives on those around us. As long as you are alive, there is an opportunity to leave a legacy of Hope.
We also need to realize that legacies are built from a lifetime of choices – just as an ancient monument or colosseum is built with a multitude of stones or bricks interlocking with one another and building up one another. Our legacies are built by the choices we make in our life – some will be big and some will be insignificant – but each choice made to please God, will be added to live a life built to the Glory of God.
And legacies aren’t built alone. The more people are involved in our lives, the more our legacies can be built.
A recent survey says that 24% of the millennials (i.e. Adults 18-29) are sceptical of the bible. We can stop this growing trend by teaching our children to know and love God’s word. More than anything our lives need to reflect that we believe every bit of the scriptures in our lives. We need to be purposeful. Instil God’s truth in their hearts, any way you can. And as you walk along life’s journey with them, shine the light of God’s word and all of the daily life circumstances.
Your legacy begins in your heart and your relationship with God. The Psalmist writes in Ps.112:1,2, “How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands? His descendants will be mighty on the earth. The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Do we love God with all our heart and is our relationship with him evident to our children and grandchildren? What are the choices we are making which will bless our descendants and make them spiritually mighty on earth?
~ Viltor Belrot
Contributed by SUNITHY JAYAKARAN