A Lasting Legacy
At some point in life, parents realize that they want to leave something behind for their children. Some call it an inheritance, we call it Legacy.
I grew up believing that we work hard throughout our lives for three reasons…. 1. To live comfortably while we raise our children; 2. To live comfortably during our golden years, sipping iced tea on our porch swing, while hubby love reads the paper, and I read a good book! ( Ok, that’s just my southern living dream 😊) 3. To have enough saved up to pass on to our children when hubby love and I go on to be with Jesus. However, I don’t think that’s the way to go about leaving an inheritance, and definitely not a lasting legacy for our children.
Check out this quote by Dave Ramsey from his blog:
“Proverbs 13: 22 “ A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens’ children.” (NKJV) This verse keeps our life goals, our visions and our legacy front and center when we’re choosing to use our money.”
And here is a passage from Ecclesiastes 2:18-21 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.... because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
This also is vanity and a great evil.
I really like Dave Ramsey and his knowledge on giving, saving, and spending. One thing I don’t agree with when it comes to Legacy is our children seeing one or both of their parents working themselves ragged so that hopefully one day they can live comfortably here on earth and leave a monetary legacy behind, for the kids to possibly be foolish with when their parents are gone. Yes, that may be the Webster's dictionary definition on legacy, but we were in search of a more Christ centered biblical definition.
Biblical Definition of Legacy
Albeit, there is no “biblical definition” of legacy, I do love this rendition by Bill High. His website, which focuses on biblical legacy, defines it like this:
Legacy focuses on what will endure. It’s about passing on things of lasting value to those who will live on after us. Legacy involves living intentionally and aiming to build into the next generations for their success.
What is lasting value? One thing that we do know is that money has no lasting value. It will grow wings and fly away. Possessions have no lasting value. They will rust, break, and eventually be destroyed somehow. So what then is lasting?
6 Legacies that WILL last
1. The glorious deeds of the Lord and His might Psalm 78: 4
2. The Word of God Deuteronomy 6: 5-7
3. Treasures in heaven Matthew 6: 20-21
4. The crown of righteousness 2 Timothy 4: 6-8
5. Delighting in the Lords commandments Psalm 112: 1-3
6. Loving God and keeping His commandments Exodus 20: 5-6
When we focus on lasting legacy, we see the focus shift from mindless toil to time. Time with our families. Time to love on and teach your children. What good is it to attain the whole world (or everything in our little world bubble) and have a lasting legacy of children that turn from God and end up in hell? Of course that’s not the legacy that we intend to leave. We just want to “make sure” that we have savings, and savings for our kids. Because their first car, college and down payment on the first house is imperative for us to take care of, so not to leave a legacy of kiddos in debt by the time they are 25. Lastly, our savings (inheritance) for them when we die, so they can get out of whatever debt they ended up getting themselves into in between time. But you see, they already owe debt, from the time they were born actually. And no amount of time spent, working 100 hours a week, to save money and take that epic family vacation, is going to pay that debt off.
Jesus Paid it ALL
The debt they owe is the price of eternal life. But, Jesus, not you and your 6 figure income, paid the debt for them in full. He is what's lasting. Our days need to be spent pointing the next generation to the cross. We are told to talk about Him in the morning when we wake, during the day when we sit, and at night when go to bed. I'm sorry, but that’s close to impossible when working 2-3 jobs to secure your ‘baby fund’.
No! Putting on a veggie tales video, listening to Christian music, and praying over your food is not leaving a lasting legacy. It’s spending quality time with your family. Laughing, crying, playing, and enjoying talks about Jesus. Jesus is the only lasting legacy we will ever have. Hebrews 1: 11-12
*Disclaimer: This post is not suggesting that we are not to be good stewards over our income, or the financial means the Lord has blessed us with, while on this earth. We are not suggesting that savings is a sin or that it is looked down upon. We are primarily speaking of transferring the importance from financial/monetary legacy to a Lasting Legacy in Christ!
Be Faithful, Be Free