Is this going to be more self-advertisement in your eyes? Do we need, as some apparently do, to exchange testimonials before we can be friends? You yourselves are our testimonial, written in our hearts and yet open for anyone to inspect and read. You are an open letter about Christ which we ourselves have written, not with pen and ink but with the Spirit of the living God. Our message has been engraved not in stone, but in living men and women. (PHILLIPS)
We are rightly advised to make out a will before we die. Such a will can ensure our assets are directed to the right people. Those assets can include money, property, and all sorts of material possessions. Most of us want to leave something of this behind so others may benefit from whatever we have had.
But there is another sort of legacy. The legacy of having blessed others with kindness, with generosity and of great importance, with the good news of Jesus. We can pass on what we value in the hope that others may value it as well. This is what Paul is referring to in our text today. How sad it would be if all we left behind were bricks and mortar and some invested funds, valuable as these may be.
What do you want to be remembered for? Being rich or being famous? Having climbed to the top of whatever greasy pole placed before you? Much better to have left behind a legacy which made a mark for good on the lives of others. Much better to have given others a glimpse of what it is like to live in humble trust in Jesus.
I treasure this quote from a now forgotten source: “the mark a man or woman makes on this world is often a trail of faithful love and quiet mercies and unknown kindnesses.”