As I sat down to think through what to say at my mom’s memorial service this past December, I realized just how great an impact she had made in the lives of so many. She left a legacy of eternal significance. It made me stop and ask, what kind of impact am I making? What would others say about me when my life on this earth is over?
I want to share with you four questions I’ve been pondering as I’ve thought about this.
1. What kind of legacy am I leaving with my words?
Are my words predominantly negative or positive?
Do I grumble and complain, or do I spend more time giving thanks and praising God?
Do my words tear down and discourage or build up and encourage?
A few weeks ago, I was facing a very busy Sunday, and I woke up grumpy thinking about the long day ahead. I had church all morning, then a quick lunch before attending a memorial service at 2:00, and finishing the day with a Dinner 8 group at 5:00. I was dreading the day because of how packed it was, and I found myself grumbling about it. But as I sat down to have some quiet time with the Lord that morning, He convicted me of my grumbling and murmuring. He turned my attitude around as I began to thank Him for these things.
God, thank you that I can worship freely this morning with other believers without fear of being arrested or killed. I GET to worship; not I HAVE to.
God, thank you that I can celebrate the life of this godly man this afternoon and encourage his wife and family. I GET to celebrate his life; not I HAVE to.
God, thank you that I have friends I can gather with tonight for food and laughter and encouragement. I GET to hang out with them; not I HAVE to.
I don’t want to leave a legacy of grumbling and murmuring.
2. What kind of legacy am I leaving with my faith?
Do I demonstrate doubt and unbelief, or faith and trust that God will do what He says He will do? Do I choose to focus on the obstacles instead of God’s faithfulness, or do I demonstrate faith in God even when the situation seems overwhelming and impossible?
I don’t want to leave a legacy of doubt and unbelief.
3. What kind of legacy am I leaving with my actions?
Am I obedient to God, or disobedient and compromising my Christian values? What kind of impact am I having on others as they watch what I do and how I respond to situations? Am I setting a positive example or a negative one? What do my actions reveal about my relationship with God?
I don’t want to leave a legacy of disobedience.
4. What kind of legacy am I leaving with my life?
What or whom am I investing my life in? Am I investing in things of eternal significance or in things that won’t last?
I recently found a note written in a cookbook that my mom’s Sunday School class compiled years ago. Each lady wrote a note of wisdom for the generations coming behind them. This is what mom wrote:
Conduct yourself in a manner that is pleasing to God by – loving others, put God first in your life, learn to forgive and forget, control your tongue, be humble, have a right attitude, and last but not least, pray to God and thank Him every day for all the blessings He has given you.
Mom not only communicated this wisdom with her words, but with her faith and actions and life. She left a legacy of eternal significance.
My nieces wrote these messages on Facebook the day mom went home to be with Jesus.
My Grandma passed away this morning. She lived close to 99 years here on this earth and is now dancing down the streets of Heaven. I will be forever grateful to have had her in my life, and she will always be my hero.
My sweet Grandma went home to be with Jesus this morning. While I’m sad that she is gone, I’m happy that she is whole and healthy again. At 98, she lived a long and fruitful life, and it can definitely be said that hers was a life well-lived.
Mom left a legacy of eternal significance. Will we do the same? What kind of impact are we making with our lives?
To listen to the audio message, click here.