The Value of Leaving a Legacy
Leaving a legacy is a vital part of every person’s life. Whether we see it or not, each of us have influence and an opportunity to make a lasting impact in the lives of others. How we live, work, serve, and lead is a reflection of who we are and what we value. When you reach the end of your life, I ask you to consider what legacy you will leave for the next generation?
A quick Google search of leaving a legacy may leave you a bit shocked and disappointed. The vast number of the 245 million hits have more to do with a person’s money and reputation than with how their values and life impacted others. For some authors, leaving a legacy is about being remembered, for others the value of a legacy was sharing a passion in one authors case, a passion for yoga or dancing tango. While what we did for work or enjoyed in leisure are a small portion of what we will be remembered for, these are merely temporal aspects of our legacy. In fact, God wants us to think much more broadly about what it means to live deliberately in order that our impact lasts for eternity. The scriptures point us directly to who God is and how we are to live for His glory, thus, to leave a lasting legacy begins with what we know about God and how we live in light of His revelation.
The Bible’s Role in Leaving a Legacy
God has given us His word that we might know Him. Pastor and teacher Alistair Begg in teaching on the life of Joseph said “biblical doctrine is crucial to understanding who God is and who we are in relationship to God.” He continued, “That a view of the world that is framed by his divine character and purpose is absolutely essential, not only for human sanity, but in order that we might prepare to live correctly and to die properly.” Joseph’s life captured in the scriptures serves as a great example of a man whose hope and confidence remained in the Lord regardless of his circumstances, and who left a legacy of faith, forgiveness, and generosity rather than one of bitterness and vengeance.
The Greatest Inheritance
For most in the 21st Century, leaving a legacy is defined by one’s ability to leave a monetary inheritance to your children. While there is wisdom in passing on what we own or saved to the next generation, this is a temporal view of the future. The scriptures never provide an instance where the Lord revealed himself to Joseph, yet he had an unwavering faith in God. Where did he get this trust and confidence in the Lord? I think the scriptures bear out that he learned it from his father Jacob. Although Jacob grievously erred by creating jealousy in his other sons, it is clear that Joseph understood the faithfulness of God to fulfill His promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At the end of Genesis, Joseph conveys his utter trust in the Lord when he graciously tells his brothers “’Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people” (Genesis 50:19-20).
Do you know someone leaving a godly legacy of faithfulness to God and service to others? Coach Terry Hill left a lasting legacy for his family and the community he lived in. Soldiers for Faith Ministry’s Terry Hill Legacy Award honors this great man of faith by recognizing an individual with a servant’s heart.
Are you someone with a heart of faithful service to the Lord and others? If not, find someone who is, and learn from them.
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Dennis Call joined the Army as an infantry officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our country, serving fourteen years on active duty. During his Army service, Dennis deployed for thirty-three months to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Prior to joining the Army Dennis served as the Director of College Ministries at First Baptist Church in Texico, N.M. where he mentored students at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. Dennis and his amazing wife Katie live in Colorado Springs, CO with their five children (four boys and one super sweet daughter).