What will our legacy be?
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” Psalm 16:6
“You have made known to me the path of life.” Psalm 16:11
How will your loved ones remember you?
At most funerals we hear wonderful things about the deceased, whether
they’re true or not. But when the casket’s in the ground and the
tombstone goes up and the relatives go home, what’s left for loved
ones? Only memories. Whether they’re good or bad memories depends on
the legacy the deceased created when and how they lived.
We are all creating a legacy. In fact, we’re creating our legacy
every day with every decision we make, every word we say, every act of
selflessness or selfishness. Our loved ones and friends will remember
one of two legacies. One legacy says, “He considered others more
important than himself.” The other legacy says, “He thought more of
his own interest than the interests of others.” Our legacy is either
connected to God’s purpose for our lives or it’s connected to us and
For instance some of us grew up in dysfunctional environments.
Sometimes that gives adults opportunity to shirk responsibility and
blame parents for how the kids turned out. But we can’t justify what
we do just because our mom or dad did it.
We can only create a lasting, positive legacy when we can claim, “God did it.”
David is a prime example of one whose perspective was anchored in
God’s purpose rather than his own circumstances.
Listen to what God revealed to David in his psalms. “The days of the
blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure
David’s perspective was anchored in God’s purpose for his life, not in
David’s present or past circumstances. David recognized God’s
provision, and gave God the praise and glory for it. David understood
what his life was about and what God had done for him.
In Psalm 16 David defines his life and, ultimately, the legacy he will
leave behind. He understood the source of His strength, “Preserve me,
O Lord, for I take refuge in You.” v1. He knows it is important to
fellowship with the saints. “As for the saints who are in the earth,
they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.” v3.
David recognized how God had blessed him and made provision for him.
“The Lord is my portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my
lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed my
heritage is beautiful to me. I will bless the Lord who counsels me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have the Lord continually
before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
v5-8. David also understood that he must seek the counsel of the Lord.
Our legacies must be defined by seeking God’s counsel.
David was a genuine beacon for God’s love, provision and purpose for
his life. People around him must have seen it, must have admired it
and wanted this uncommon devotion to God for themselves. David’s
life, for the most part, was testimony to David’s lifelong dependence
of God. After David died he was revered and cherished for his legacy.
A good friend of mine died recently. Every time his name comes up in
conversation, the first words out of our mouths is, “He sure did love
the Lord.” Those of us who knew him remember his gentle spirit, his
many acts of kindness and service to those around him. The Godly
wisdom he shared from staying in God’s word every day.
His faith was steadfast. I never saw him or talked to him when he
wasn’t wearing his shield. Those are the things we remember about him.
Those things are the underpinnings of his legacy. And those are the
things we remember about him and recall with heartfelt love and
admiration. He will be loved and remembered affectionately years
after his death because of the legacy he built while he was living
with us here on earth.
Now it’s your turn. You have the rest of today and all the days ahead
to create your legacy. Will your legacy be selfless or selfish? Will
you, “with humility of mind regard one another as more important than
yourselves?” Phil 2:3. When you’re gone will your friends and loved
ones be able to say, “He really loved the Lord.”? Will your legacy
Maybe not. Maybe you’re not doing so well on the legacy front. If
you’re not, that’s okay. You can start right now, today. And you have
every day for the rest of your life to fix it, or continue to create a
lasting legacy surrendering to God’s purpose for your life. God is
waiting for you now with open arms ready to show you and counsel you
and reveal His purpose for your life.