Each of us is creating a legacy, right now, day by day. true, when we sit with an attorney planning a trust, we make considered choices about material assets we wish to pass on to others. But you and I are more than what we own, more than what we have achieved, far more than the assets that will interest an attorney.
Can we leave behind a spiritual legacy? How do we pass on wisdom? How do we leave behind the values that guided our own lives? How can character and courage and integrity and unselfish love and kindness be left behind? How do we leave a spiritual legacy?
Not Net Worth but a Worthy Life
Google can tell you the net worth of any celebrity. It’s measured in dollars, of course. But net worth and a worthy life are very different things. Your legacy begins in your own heart, in your relationship with the lord. long ago the psalmist wrote: “The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever” (Psalm 37:18, NKJV). When you understand that your own life has purpose and direction, your life carries more dignity and weight. live aware of the God-ordained dignity that rests on you. It will matter to your family.
Talk about What Matters
Express your faith and your trust in God to the generation coming behind you. You can write a legacy letter expressing your love, your values, your faith in God, your trust in Christ for your own eternal life. Recently my 90-year-old father told his grandsons about a practice of his. Because Proverbs has 31 chapters, every day he reads the chapter that corresponds with the day of the month. He told the boys that Proverbs is the book of wisdom and it has helped him greatly, and he recommended that practice to them.
Live What Matters
Acts of compassion, generosity, kindness, and forgiveness— you can leave no better legacy. As you see the needs of a hurting world, respond compassionately and generously. It is a courageous decision to be engaged, to be involved, and to try to make a difference. Within your own circle of family and friends it will be simple, everyday actions for which you will best be remembered. Your ordinary acts of kindness, of generous forgiveness, of consistent encouragement, and of unselfish love will be remembered. They will be your truest legacy.
Praying It Forward
When we pray, we are participating in eternal matters. God’s timeline is eternity. His great works and purposes are so vastly beyond our own lifetimes, beyond our imagining. Our lives are very precious, but these earthly years are brief. As we grow older, we know that heaven draws nearer and that our future beyond this life is secured by what Jesus has done for us. But still we love this beautiful world and the precious people God has given us.
A friend of mine died young from cancer. In her last months she was deeply concerned about the choices of her adult son. When I received the call that she had passed away,
my first thought was, “Oh no, she died with her prayers unanswered.” But a year later I learned that some wonderful changes were occurring in her son’s life.
Many of our prayers will be answered beyond our lifetime. So, pray for your children and grandchildren. Ask God to give them a sense of purpose, direction, and mission. You are participating in eternal matters when you pray. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14, NKJV). The power of your prayers for your family and others will endure beyond your lifetime.
by Pastor June Barrow