Earlier this week I was part of a one-day workshop on community development. One of the main themes of the workshop was “legacy”, with an emphasis on helping the folks attending the workshop think about the way they are spending their lives. As part of this effort, the instructors regularly challenged the participants to ask themselves the question: “What sort of legacy will I leave behind when I'm gone?”
It’s an interesting question to ponder, and it’s one that most people ask themselves at some point or other as they travel through life. But for Christians, this is a particularly important question to ask because we're called to spend our lives helping build the Kingdom of God. So our “legacy” needs to be more than just building up a nice inheritance for our children to enjoy, or simply retiring with a comfortable “nest egg" that allows us to live how we want to live. Instead, as Christians we’re called to a different standard when it comes to making our mark on this world. And that’s because God's idea of a lasting legacy is one that comes from living fully and completely for Him.
Micah 6:8 describes it like this, “The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” So God's plan for us is that we spend our lives walking with Him - doing what is right, and loving mercy. If we do that, then we will impact the world around us in ways that will last for eternity.
Of course, the challenge in living with this sort of single-minded focus is that it requires us to say “no” to other things in life that distract us from carrying out God's plan. And it's not just “things” we have to say no to, it's certain people as well - people who aren't going the same direction we’re called to go. And that's hard to do. But the truth is, anything in life worth having comes at a price. And the reward for believers is a life spent with God - and a life that will leave an eternal mark on this world.
So today, let's commit to living the kind of life that's going to make a lasting impression. Let's ask God to help us be willing to pay the price, to find our strength in Him, and to be obedient to how He's called us to live. And let's do all of this so that we can help build His Kingdom and leave the legacy He calls us to leave.