Today, we conclude our Focused Life series with an exploration of legacy, but before we do that, let’s recap our series.
- Where You Are Is Not Where You Want to Be when you recognize you want to change things to live a more focused life.
- What a Focus Life looks like by chatting with Isaac Smith from The Focus Course in episodes 113, 114, and 115.
- Making Space For The Things That Matter Most in our lives by developing priorities.
- How to Live an Accountable Life by seeking out people who we can give permission and trust to challenge us.
And that brings us back to our topic for today…creating legacy moments.
What Is Legacy?
Legacy is defined as:
“a gift by will especially of money or other personal property”^1
I would argue that this definition is too limiting. Our legacy goes beyond the money we leave behind and extends to our character and reputation we leave behind.
My definition of legacy is this:
“Leaving your mark on the world around you”.^4
For you, what thoughts or dreams spin up in your head about legacy? What do you want your mark to be on the world?
In his book, The Promise of a Pencil, Adam Braun went out to explore the world as a young man serving on Semester at Sea ships around the globe. One day a simple question from a young boy turned into a life’s mission, purpose, and legacy.
His question was,
“If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?”^2
The young boy’s answer,
Soon after this encounter, Adam Braun started the charity Pencils of Promise, which is committed to getting education into the hands of the poorest of the poor in remote areas of the world to help them have a better life. Currently, they have over 131,000 students enrolled in schools built by donors worldwide.
Our legacy is what we want it to be – it can be either positive or negative. Once again, what thoughts come to mind about legacy?
For some, maybe you and your parents work at the same company, or maybe you and your children work at the same company. That is legacy – the passing down of loyalty in a company. In many cases, this doesn’t exist today.
Legacy & The Scriptures
Legacy is not directly addressed in the scriptures, but it is inferred in many places.
- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the patriarchs of the faith
- Joseph – son of Jacob, saved the people of Israel from a famine
- Esther – risking her life to save the Jewish people
- Ruth – the bloodline of Jesus and King David goes through Ruth and Boaz
- King David and King Solomon – Kings of Israel
- Daniel – taking a stand for what is right by not bowing down to the king
- Jesus and His Disciples – Jesus taught His disciples to go into all the world and spread the gospel
- Paul and Timothy – training others to spread the gospel
One of my favorite stories in scripture is Ruth’s story. Here is a quick recap of the story.
Ruth was married to one of Naomi’s sons. One day, he died, and then sometime later, all of Naomi’s sons died, leaving all her daughter-in-law's widows.
Naomi decided to travel back to her homeland, and Ruth went with her. One day Ruth went to a field to get some wheat, ending up in Boaz’s field.
Over time some love developed, and Boaz would have the chance to wed Ruth. After this wedding, they had a son who would have a son who would have a son who would be the King of Israel – his name was David.
God works in us and through us to create our legacy, and sometimes what appears to be a poor situation is the perfect opportunity for God to showcase His amazing power.
You can read or listen to more of Ruth’s story in episode 57 of this podcast.
What Legacy Moments Do You Want to Create?
When you think about the work you are doing and the life you want to live, what do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be known for your work at your day job?
Do you want to be known for your charitable contributions?
Do you want to be known for being a father or mother who prayed and served their children?
What about your friendships?
Creating a legacy moment could be as simple as what you pass down to your kids – values, generosity, love, etc. – or it could be moments you create along the way.
When I traveled the world on different mission trips, I was creating legacy moments for myself and also for my future family. For me, I want to pass along generosity, faith, and love, among other things, to my current and future family.
What values do you want to leave to others?
Encouragement and Challenge
Take a few minutes this week to think about the legacy you want to leave behind. What legacy moments do you want to leave to your family, your friends, your work, and your community?
Let the Lord guide your thoughts and discussions as you seek to build your legacy.
Lord, thank you for your grace and goodness in our lives. Thank you for providing examples to us in scripture and in our lives to help us build a legacy worth leaving. Please go before us this week. Amen!
- The Focus Course
- The Focus Accelerator
- Conversation with Isaac Smith Part 1
- Conversation with Isaac Smith Part 2
- Conversation with Isaac Smith Part 3
^2: The Promise of a Pencil – Adam Braun
^3: The Promise of a Pencil – Adam Braun
^4: Definition of legacy – Dave Anthold</p
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