Preparing a legacy

February 2, 2008 — Leave a comment

8I’ve always loved watching people. I really enjoy just observing how people interact with one another and the world around them.

Having children has made me so much more aware of the fact that people are watching me too — little people. Not only do they watch me, but they tend to do the things I do and say the things I say. That, my friend, can be a little scary at times!

Sometimes I am just amazed how much kids can pick up on, just by being around others. That’s why it’s important for parents to be aware of what people and situations their children are exposed to.

That’s also why it’s important for me to be the kind of person I want my children to be. The fact of the matter is that nobody has more influence on young children than their parents. It’s a challenging responsibility — and one that causes me to consider what kind of example I am.

You know, every one of us is an example to someone. Maybe it’s your own children or grandchildren. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s your friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Whatever the case may be, I hope that you are living a life worth emulating.

In a day and age where so many pairs of eyes are focused in so many different directions, don’t be fooled into thinking no one is watching you. I don’t make an issue of this to trigger feelings of paranoia. I mention it only as a reminder that as a human being, you have tremendous power to influence others. Through words and actions, God has crafted you to live life and leave a legacy.

This past week’s State of the Union address was the perfect opportunity for political pundits to talk about President Bush and the legacy he will leave from his nearly eight years in office. People watch the President, perhaps more closely than any other figure in the world. His image appears in all kinds of media on a daily basis. So many of his words are not only heard by others, but they’re recorded as well — only to be played and replayed time and time again.

You may not be a person of such intense interest to the population at large, but you are of interest to someone. It’s never to soon to be thinking about the kind of legacy you want to leave behind.

Far too often I’ve gathered with family members of a deceased person only to hear them trying to sort out what kind of stories NOT to tell about the loved one during the funeral service. Whether it was a sharp tongue, a grouchy disposition, a hateful spirit, or some other undesirable quality, the point is that the person yielded influence over others. And in the last act of human kindness, family members were left trying to protect (or maybe correct) the individual’s own reputation.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t need my family to do a “total personality makeover” on me after I’m gone. I pray that I will leave a lasting legacy of love and integrity — essentially, a life worth imitating.

What kind of man do I want to be? I like what Micah 6:8 says. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (NIV)

People are always watching how we live our lives. That being the case, I pray that I’ll show them through my own words and deeds what things really matter in life. I pray that I’ll give them the gifts of listening, respect, time, and love.

Yes, if people are to see only one thing in me, I pray that the love of Christ would shine brightly, leaving a lasting legacy that transcends time . . . and space . . . and situations.

Is the life you’re living worth the price Christ paid? If not, then it’s not too late to re-evaluate and get busy making adjustments. If you don’t know Christ, then I’d love to share Him with you. Feel free to contact me, and I’ll help you take the first step toward transforming your own legacy.

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