Leaving a legacy behind - Hope 103.2

Leaving a legacy behind

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSaturday 10 Aug 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


It was back in 1947 that a popular movie was released. It was called “It’s a Wonderful Life” all about the main character called George Bailey. He had big dreams of wanting to travel but he lived in a little town called Bedford Falls. His life turned sour and his business and reputation were in trouble and he got very depressed and on Christmas Eve decided to commit suicide. But an angel appeared and took George on a guided tour of what the world would be like if he had never been born. In the end,George realises he has made a difference in the world. He has left an impressive legacy,which is more important than his own dreams of adventure and travel. So he is rescued from suicide.

This story helps us realise that everyone’s life is important. Who you are is important,and each day you are leaving behind a legacy. Let me be clear – I’m not talking about money left behind,but a lifetime of achievement,especially with people who love you like your family,your community and society in general.

I like what the Proverbs writer said in Proverbs 3 “Never forget to be truthful and kind. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favour with both God and man,and a reputation for good judgement and common sense,then trust the Lord completely” (v3-4.LB). Another translation says “Let love and faithfulness never leave you”. We know the word ‘love’ and use it quite often,but in this Old Testament setting it means more than a feeling – it’s a strong Hebrew word which means a “covenant or loyal” love. It’s something very stable,strong and reliable. It’s a love that is loyal and faithful. If everyone practiced this kind of love,what a great society there would be. To write it deep in your heart means it is taken seriously,and as a result of this faithful love,the person wins favour in the sight of God and other people. It’s not about impressing others or even influencing people .. what this verse means is that others will seek you out because of your strong qualities of genuine love. What an impressive legacy to leave in anyone’s life.

Think about how this would strengthen marriages. When a man and woman get married they make promises to each other in the sight of God. We call them marriage vows. It’s only by God’s help that we can keep these promises and live in harmony with our partner. How tragic that so many couples are divorced these days.

But it also relates to our children,and the depth of love we have for them. What about our friends? Do we have loyalty towards them?  Living in communities we also can leave a legacy because people are watching us,making up their own minds about what kind of people we are. Do you connect with your neighbours? I think the best word we can say here is “integrity”. Am I a person of integrity? The path of integrity is the path of honesty,the straight path. No-one is perfect and we will make mistakes and errors of judgement,but instead of making excuses or trying to dodge the consequences of our failures,we honestly face up to them. If we try to cover up our lies,we will eventually get caught. You may not think integrity is a big deal,but it really is. Who are the people you remember? Those who are honest,who kept their promises.

Did you know the legacy you leave behind will have a lasting influence? Proverbs 13:22 says “A good person leaves an inheritance for his children’s children,but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”. Beyond the next generation,you are making a difference even after you have died. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind for your family? How will they remember you? It’s not about how much money you leave behind – it’s about memories and values they have about you. We leave the values we lived by and talked about to our children just as tangibly as we may leave behind some money for them. Long after the money is spent,those values will continue to influence them. Am I a generous and kind person,or am I selfish? These are important questions we need to ask ourselves before it’s too late. To stand for things that are significant is more important than having a lot of money.

Let’s do all we can to ensure that each day we’re building a life of love and honesty and integrity that will be remembered by our children and grandchildren,long after we have gone.

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