A legacy is defined as -- “ an inheritance handed down from one generation to a next.” This had been on my mind this week as I had just visited with three of my grandchildren from another state and the three that live here. What will be my legacy be to them? I have a few cherished items, but I want it to be more than that.
Some of us grew up in dysfunctional families, and the legacy that was handed down to us was not one that we would like to remember let alone pass down. It created character defects within us, gave us a distorted picture of the world and of people. Some of the things we became, we certainly did not want to pass that on to another generation. As our heart became sensitive to God and we allowed Him to show us our character defects, He also gave us the power and the ability to change. For some of us, this change came in an early time of life and for others at a later time. The good thing is, change did come. So as I began to think about these things -- I began to really think about the legacy that I would leave behind. Would the people that I know and love really know that they were loved? How would they remember me? How will they remember you? Dysfunctional? Emotional? Without hope and joy? Complaining? Never satisfied? Unable to live without your addictions? Cranky? Abusive? Never taking time for them? Making them feel less than or a burden. Many people have felt that way -- that was their legacy.
What do you want your legacy to look like to your family, friends, and the world? Will there be repercussions? Consequences? Damage control? Will there be fruit? Heirlooms to cherish? Sweet traditions? Behaviors that others will want to emulate? Sadness and sorrow with nothing good you would want to have passed down?
Joel 2:25 I will give you back what the locust have taken away. It is never too late to start building or rebuilding your legacy. Many of us, in over coming our dysfunction, act in a new and different way. The ability to love ourselves will over flow to others. The ability to forgive ourselves will make us able to forgive others. Our reverence for God and our willingness to submit to His will and authority will paint a beautiful picture that we will want to pass on. As we take our eyes off of ourselves and begin to serve others, it will show others what a joy it is to serve, and hopefully encourage them to serve. As you listen to others ( especially sweet grandchildren ), you are teaching them to be listeners? Are you are patient, kind, encouraging, and acting in a manner which will enhance the dignity and worth of one another? Are you walking and abiding in faith? Do you take the opportunity to talk about the marvelous things that God has done for you and His great love for you? What kind of picture of God are you painting with your life? Do you also speak of His great acts of faithfulness? Do you pray for others and with others?
Mr. Peanut, also affectionately known as grandpa --would sit and read his Bible several times a day. He did not always have a personal relationship with the Lord. Later on, a changed man, he loved and served the Lord. As he got older he became totally blind. A little Hispanic man, full of love and grace, every morning could be heard thanking his precious Savior for the beautiful morning and the life God had given him. Gentle, generous, kind and funny, full of love. This is a part of my legacy. I am so proud of it!!
Father: thank you for giving us your son -- He is our legacy and inheritance. Amen
As you walk on this journey called life-- are you living life in a manner that will be fondly remembered by others or, living it in a way they will not want to talk about? This is your legacy.
Have a blessed week.
Janice Encourager Coach FBC CR-team.
For more info on CR in NW Arkansas:
Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679