2 Ways To Leave A Lasting Legacy
We just laid Natasha’s grandma to rest yesterday. I thought it would be fitting to re-publish this post dedicated to her legacy. She was a wonderful woman who cared for everyone she interacted with. She is missed, but her life should be celebrated for the influence she had on everyone she met….
My wife’s grandmother was in the hospital a couple months ago. She was in her mid-90’s and, up until her admittance into the hospital, had been going strong. It had been a heavy load on the family, but it was a wonderful experience to see the family pulling together to care for and nurture a woman who cared and nurtured all of them for so many years.
Her grandmother was a wonderful woman and a testimony of faith and perseverance. Every time you entered her home you were offered something to eat or drink. She did not want to sit down and loved to serve everyone who came through her door. She was a wonderful example of a servant.
One day, her nephew came into visit her while I was there and he said a beautiful prayer over her which included these words: “Lord God, bless your servant. She has cared for so many and has shown your love. Continue to give her your love and care.”
Her legacy is that of a strong woman who has loved and cared for so many, whether they were family or not.
My thoughts raced at the time, and yesterday at her funeral I came back to this same thought, and I asked myself, “How can I leave a legacy like this?”
I turned to Proverbs and re-discovered powerful verses in chapter 21 that answered my question:
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
Will find life, righteousness, and honor.”-Proverbs 21:21(ESV)
Then, I looked further and found in the first verse of chapter 22:
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
And favor is better than silver or gold.”(ESV)
King Solomon in his wisdom shared the two key elements of leaving a lasting legacy in the world:
1) PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS: As we go through life what we pursue is what we will be known for. If we pursue riches and power, that is what we will leave as a mark in the world. People will recognize our business savvy and our workaholic nature. Yet, when we “pursue righteousness” (striving for what is morally right under God), we are aiming to live a life that is justifiable and held without judgment. We might not be sinless, but we are striving to do what is right in all circumstances. It might not always be the easiest decision or most popular, but it is what is right. People will remember our convictions and our ability to put our own desires aside while seeking to fulfill the desires of our Creator.
2) PURSUE KINDNESS:Our good name comes from our service. When our eyes are open to the needs of others, we will rise to the occasion and serve them the best way we know how. We will give in our excess. We will give when we don’t have much. We will walk with people who are left alone. We will step into the lives of the broken and lost. We will shine brightly in a dark world due to our ability to show kindness to people who do not expect it. We should speak of Jesus regularly, but our actions should undoubtedly be those of a follower of Jesus. When we are willing to give up our spot in line, step out of our house to help our elderly neighbor, give someone a gift who needs a smile, or something that pulls us out of our self-absorption, then we are pursuing kindness and our hand print will be left on someone else’s heart for good.
These seem like two easy concepts for us to pursue in order to leave a lasting legacy in the world. Our mark should be large, especially as followers of Jesus. The mark we leave is not for our glory, but for Christ’s. As the first verse in chapter 22 says, “A good name is more important than riches…”,which means we should strive to be known for who we are more than what we have.
So, as people speak of us, they should mainly speak of our righteousness and kindness in light of our faith in Jesus.
May we pursue righteousness and kindness daily. May we leave a legacy of faith and servanthood in the world. May people know the desire of our heart was to fulfill the desire of our Creator.
Natasha’s grandma will be missed, but her legacy will live on for many generations.
Peace and blessings friends.
Question: What are you doing today to enhance your legacy?
(This was an original post in September. It has been updated since).