Ask yourself: How will people summarize your life? We get so caught up in just getting through each day that we rarely think about the kind of legacy we will leave behind.
We tend to put this off until later in life, but we are actually continually leaving behind some sort of legacy no matter how old we are. Young ladies, this includes you as much as it includes the older women.
Maybe it is the legacy you leave when you die. Or maybe it is the legacy you leave when you move jobs, or graduate from one school to another, or become an empty nester, or you retire, or you change your friend group. We are continually leaving some sort of legacy.
Good legacy building starts NOW. Not when you are older, not when you get your act together, not when you mend that broken relationship. It’s happening right now.
Here’s a hard reality: it is possible that after a couple of generations, few people will know we even existed. Much of what we do will not last; things we cherish now will ultimately perish. If our affections are on anything but Christ, our legacy is going to reflect that.
Unless we think seriously about the kind of legacy we are developing, we may leave nothing worth inheriting.
Think often about what sort of impact you want to make. If you do this, you are more likely to pass on something of worth to the next generations.
Your legacy is actually not about you. It is about glorifying Jesus Christ. It’s not about celebrating your achievements, but it is about maximizing the influence you can have in the lives of others so that your work for God is not in vain.
1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
This is something to do NOW, not later. Even you young girls can build a legacy by starting to consider how you spend your life NOW.
Exodus 20, Numbers 14, Deut. 5, and Jeremiah 32 all hold Truth that addresses the way that we pass things on to the future generations. Look now at just one of those verses, Exodus 20:5:
“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”, or more clearly just for the purpose of explanation here in another version, the New Living Translation says it this way: “I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”
The way we live and the way we treat people has an impact that lasts through the generations to come.
Each individual is responsible for their own sin and relationship with God, so I am not and this scripture is not suggesting that we are going to have to personally pay for the sins our parents committed, but these verses remind us that we leave a legacy as we pass on our tendencies, habits, coping mechanisms and many other traits that can play in to our tendency towards sin.
Leaving a legacy is inevitable, and it can be negative or positive. Scripture has plenty to say about our legacy. Here are a few Biblical principles that I encourage you to dwell on as you examine your own legacy potential. They are a starting point to serve as a guide for you as you consider what you want to pour in to the next generation. I encourage you to read them in your Bible in the context of the surrounding passages. This would make a great study on what the Bible teaches about legacy:
Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”
2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
Matthew 6:20-21 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
2 Timothy 2:2 “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Peter 1:12-15 “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.”
Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
One way to leave a Christ-centered legacy is to mentor someone younger than you. You can read more about serving intergenerationally at www.biblicalmentor.com