As I enjoy my day off cleaning and cooking, I find I am thinking on the word legacy today and how many different definitions that one word can have in a person’s life. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word, legacy as ‘money or property given to another’ and another definition is ‘something handed down from an ancestor, one’s heritage.’ In Proverbs 13:22 it does mention heritage when it says, ‘A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.‘ Does this mean that a legacy is something of monetary value we leave to our families? Is that all that is required? If this is the case we can work our butts off and then leave our kids a little something after we’re gone and that should suffice right? As stated in the dictionary definition, a legacy we leave for our families can be something of monetary value, but it can also be our heritage, our culture, our special recipes, family traditions etc. These are all so important and what makes us who we are. We all have special grandma recipes, family vacations spots, even a vocational trade or family farm that has been passed onto us or to our family from previous generations. These traditions are so special to us and usually makes us think of our families that have passed on when we participate in these things.
This week I have been thinking on the importance of legacy for future generations due to a special person who passed on recently, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. I think on the incredible legacy he has passed on to his immediate family as well as his Christian family simply on the way he loved The Lord and defended his faith so intensely. What a gift he left behind. No matter how much money he had or didn’t have to pass onto his family, what he did pass on what worth more than all the money in the world! In John 15:16 The Lord said, ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.’
I often think on the kind of legacy I am passing onto my own family and I am grateful everyday I can share with them the real, raw me. I can show them how important the job of being a good wife and mother is and how it should never be underestimated as God has gifted us with that role. How important reputation is and how hard it is to get it back once it’s been tarnished. And how a good reputation follows you wherever you go and stands by you even in your absence. How I can teach them, by example, it’s okay to mess up and that no one is perfect, but it’s what you do with that failure that matters. How forgiveness can truly heal a person’s heart and how great it feels to give to others instead of always expecting things from people. I hope my kids understand the vital importance of living a life of integrity no matter who’s watching and working hard as for The Lord in all we do no matter how simple or difficult the task. Lastly, and most importantly, that I can share Jesus with them. They cannot get Jesus from me they have to accept Him on their own, but they can see an imperfect person living her life for The Lord and all that comes with it. They can see up close and personal the blessings that come with this life, as well as the struggles that this life can bring. And in God’s timing when I leave this earth they can see much I will be looking forward to living a life in the presence of the King of Kings!
You see, a life in The Lord is the most special, precious gift you can leave your children. Knowing that whether they are living for God right now or not nothing we do in His name will ever be in vain. The fruit we bear in this life will abide, it will last for generations in Jesus name and that is such a wonderful thought and a beautiful legacy to leave…
The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! Proverbs 20:7