Monday, September 12, 2005
I have a dear blogging friend who recently lost her aunt. She shared with me how everyone in the family thought she was a woman to be praised. Every one of her children praised this woman. When our lives are over how do you hope to be remembered? Have you ever contemplated what you will leave behind as a legacy to the people who know you? We all leave a legacy whether we desire to or not.
Too often I meet people who are more often concerned about the number of years they will live rather than how they live. Besides the people that are involved in our lives having an interest in us, God, Himself is interested in what we do with the time He has given us. What will be the message of your life?
Too often, we minimize who we are and the potential God created in us. We seem to leave God out of the equation of our life. But He has a plan for each of us which He fully intends for us to fulfill. As we move through this gift of life there will come a point where He will call us home and when that happens what kind of legacy will we leave to others? What affect will it have on them? Any at all?
What is our legacy? Some people would think it is our material possessions, our property, and our money. That isn't it at all. It's our life, the influence we have, along with our testimony that is our legacy. That testimony can be good or bad, strong or weak, rich or poor. This very minute in time each of us are building a legacy and we will continue to do so every day that we live.
"Living for today" is a common theme throughout our culture today. Sometimes people don't even need to say the words, it's lived out in their life by the choices they make. However, as Christians we need to realize that the way we live affects more than just 'today.' Our thinking, conduct, and conversation will become our legacy, impacting others when we are no longer here.
Scripture tells us that we should be involved in His work (Ephesians 2:10) and that we are to bring Him honor and glory (1 Corinthians 6:20). It really doesn't matter the number of years we live. It is much more important to think about how our lifetime is invested. What we choose to do this very day....the priorities you demonstrate through your use of time and resources, as well as the way you handle relationships...will leave a witness for either good or evil.
If you have children, hopefully, they will be able to remember their parents reading the Scriptures and talking about how God spoke to them through a passage. How will they learn to love and trust the Word unless you demonstrate how you value it. Unless you hand down to them a stalwart faith in God's Word, you leave them vulnerable to the world's empty philosophies.
Another important area is prayer. How often do your children see you crying out to the Lord during trials for His strength and perseverance? How often do they hear you praising Him for His blessings? Your visible and audible prayer life becomes a picture indelibly imprinted on their minds, an image critical to their future reliance upon God.
Also, there is the area of our Christian witness. Do you actively share your faith? Do you encourage other's efforts to share the good news? How do you react to persecution, suffering and pain? How do you treat others in time of need? Do you value every human being you come in contact? Do you view that person as another of God's creation, to be valued and respected?
Oh yes, we leave a legacy to our children but also to the 'world'....our friends, relatives, coworkers and neighbors. They all are observing Christians to see if their claims are credible. Don't just think about your impact right now but view it in terms of eternity.