When we think of leaving a legacy for our family, we often think about leaving behind an inheritance of wealth, investments, property, jewelry, etc.
This accumulation of wealth is left with the intent to give the family something to fall back on. And while all these things are good, they are simply that. Just things.
What I’ve come to learn is that leaving a legacy is more than these things. It is more than money, investments and property. It’s leaving a legacy of moral stability that will affect the minds and hearts of our children’s, children’s, and children.
We recently finished a 6-week marriage small group series and something I heard hit me to my core, which was this.
When we live with the mindset that we will be someone’s ancestors, it will make us think twice about the things we do and say. As what we do, will have an impact on our children, and future generations to follow.
Proverbs 13:22 (AMPC) “A good man leaves an inheritance (of moral stability and goodness) to his children’s children and the wealth of the sinner (finds its way eventually) into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up.”
A legacy worth following begins with moral stability. Therefore, the foundation of our legacy must start there. So let’s use the Word of God to establish a few areas we can work on.
Proverbs 22:1 (NLT) Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
It’s important for us, as men, to establish a good reputation for ourselves and for our families. A man who deals in business ethically with godly morals, develops a good name for himself.
One who teaches those same work ethics to his children, develops a good name for his family. This is what we call leaving a legacy of good reputation.
Matthew 5:37 (NLT) Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
Be a man of your word. Let your yes really mean yes, and your no, mean no! This includes the way we conduct ourselves. Our behavior should reflect who we really are and not smoke screens and mirrors.
Keeping your word is a way of defining your character. As the provider of the family sometimes, we are willing to do whatever it takes to put food on the table. However, if our kids see you compromising who you really are for the sake of money, then we will leave behind a legacy of questionable behavior. And this is definitely one characteristic not worth following.
2 Peter 1: 5-8 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we live in an age of moral decline. It seems like character hardly counts any more. Sadly enough, this general lack of character and conduct, has permeated into the Body of Christ. Now more than ever Christian character, and behavior is hardly distinguishable from unbelievers in the world today.
When we choose to live a life that honors God in all that we do, our inheritance of moral stability will coincide with our financial decisions, and our work ethics. It will even be reflecting in; how we speak to people, how we speak and discipline our children, and how we love our wives (if you’re married).
Proverbs 13:11 (AMPC) Wealth [not earned but] won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use [such riches] will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches].
You’ve heard the saying, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, just work unto God? If you’re a janitor, be a good janitor. If you’re a car salesman; then be the best car salesman.
While this is true, the HOW we are employed is just as important in the history of our legacy.
If we are earning a living from: lying, stealing, and cheating; what type of example does that leave for our children?
When we’re working unto God we will leave a legacy of earning an honest living to our children’s, children.
So what will it be men? Who’s willing to man up and leave a legacy worth following?
~ André Gray