Webster’s Dictionary defines “legacy” as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” Some common legacies are: She left us a legacy of a million dollars, or he left his children a legacy of love and respect.
Personal Experiences with Legacy
I began to play golf under the tutelage of my father at age seven. When I turned ten I was eligible to play in tournaments it was fast approaching. I needed some last-minute help from my dad so he took me to the golf course to play a few holes.
On the first hole, I hit a bad drive, threw my club, and my dad said nothing. He picked it up and put it in his bag, and we continued on playing.
After the fourth hole, I had only four clubs left in my bag; my dad thought it was time to quit. He walked with me to the clubhouse and I waited for him outside the men’s locker room.
Soon he came out without my clubs that he had collected as we played. I asked him where they were. “They are in my locker where they will be staying for a while.”
I responded in horror, “I have to have them! If not, then I am not going to play in the tournament!” “Oh, you will be playing, and I will be caddying.” He cupped his hand with my chin in it, looked me in the eye and said, “Until you understand, young lady, that you will not be long remembered for the number of golf tournaments you win but rather for your character, you are not getting them back.”
Legacy of Family Members
I thought about that day as I went to the cemetery with some flowers for our family grave site. I looked at the gravestones, and memories flooded my mind.
I remembered the story of my grandfather, who owned a bank when the great depression in the 1930s hit. He lost most of what he had, but because he was a man of honor, he worked for the rest of his life to pay back the loss of funds,to those who banked with him. He didn’t have to, he just did.
I thought my mom, who taught Bible studies, led several organizations and loved and served her family well. She made us laugh.
My dad owned his own business and never signed a contract. Others wanted to do business with him because they knew my dad’s reputation for being honest.
He was a Hall of Famer but you would never have known it; he was a humble man. I am quick to say that mom and dad were not even close to being perfect; they would be the first to tell you that.
They were sinners saved by Jesus, who lived out their lives with humility, generosity, and leadership wherever and whenever they were needed.
The Apostle Paul’s Legacy
The apostle Paul left his legacy for all of us through his writings in the New Testament.
By studying his life, we know that his life reflected one of humility, love, and passion for teaching and living the truth about Jesus no matter where he was or the circumstances he encountered.
His inspired words taught us that we are loved by God, who gave His Son so that we could have life in perfect peace with Him forever.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Creating a Christian Legacy
How can we, as Christians, leave legacies that will influence the lives of those who follow?
- Study the word of God, pray for your friends and family. Take the time to get to know those whom God has entrusted to you. Be bold and share Jesus with them.
- Live a life of thanksgiving in all areas of life. During the good and hard times, know that God is with you, and there is a lesson to be learned. Suffering can be our greatest evangelistic tool. Do we suffer with peace and hope?
- Love other well.
- Be a giver Be a mentor.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Laugh a lot.
“Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, and so that they do not slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
Lessons Learned from My Father
So, my dad took me to my tournament. I was the only one there with only four clubs. Humiliating. Needless to say, I was on my best behavior, and no clubs went air-born. It was my first tournament win and the last time I ever threw a club. Lesson learned! Thanks, Dad!