Read 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
19 After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! 20 Yes, you are our pride and joy. (NLT)
We are encouraged to make a will so that when we die the right people get the right things that once belonged to us. A will covers tangible things. But what about the intangibles?
What sort of legacies do we leave behind? Can we bequeath to others more than just bricks and mortar or money in the bank? It is interesting to note that in eulogies given at funerals the emphasis is not on such legacies but on things like character and relationship. If we can leave behind what one writer has called a trail of faithful love, and quiet mercies, and unknown kindnesses, then we will have bequeathed something worthwhile.
Paul is in no doubt that his legacy is people. People who are intent on following Jesus. A church leader, if he or she is leaving a church, wants to leave behind something more than a healthy bank balance and an impressive church building. We want to be remembered for the impact we have had on the lives of people. For all of us, we want to be known as those who have enriched the lives of others, whose lives have been better because we have been part of them.
Such legacies won’t hit the headlines. But be encouraged by the words of this prayer of Frank Topping: “Lord help us to see that every act of kindness, every word of forgiveness, every gesture of love, seen or unseen, however small, changes the world and us forever.”