How will you be remembered when you have left this mortal realm? What impact will you have left on the world? What will be your lasting legacy?
These are all things to think about, as while you still have life left on this earth, you should do something to ensure the lives of the people around you will be impacted positively while you have the time to do so.
But what can you do? You are only one person, after all. How can you make a difference?
Well, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13) so pray, and ask Him: How can I leave a lasting legacy? The path ahead will be revealed to you, but in the meantime, here are some ideas we hope you find useful.
Why am I writing about legacy? March 29, 2020 was the 12th anniversary of losing my younger son, Kyle. And what a legacy he left! Friends still visit his place and leave mementoes of love or share a memory with me.
#1: Share your faith
Possibly the greatest thing you can do to leave a lasting legacy. If somebody can find faith because of your intervention, you are impacting not just one person, but you are also impacting the lives of others if they continue to pass the baton of faith to the people they know.
So, take the time to share the Good News with the people you know. Offer to pray for them, share the hope that you have found in God, and introduce them to your church. Sign up to volunteer for any community outreach programs your church has started, and be a missionary in your local area. And ask God to reveal opportunities for faith sharing, as that simple cry of ‘hear I am Lord, send me’ is that first step to something that will have an impact for all eternity.
#2: Support the causes that mean something to you
Do you have a heart for the homeless, the sick, or the broken children in this world? Do you have a desire to do something meaningful to support them? If so, consider how you might be able to help, as what you do will leave a lasting legacy on the people you support. If you have the finances available, consider monthly donations to the charities that need financial aid. The money you give will go a long way towards supporting those who are in need. If you have the time, you could volunteer your time as well. This can have an even bigger impact, as by being present in somebody’s life, your words and actions could do much to improve and change their lives forever.
So, search your heart, research the causes that will drive you towards action, and do whatever you can do to support them.
#3: Get your finances in order
What will happen to your money when you’re gone? Who will benefit from your earthly treasures while you’re enjoying the treasures of heaven? Who will live in the home that you are leaving behind?
Now is the time to think about it, no matter your age, as you want to be certain that your loved ones will be cared for when you are no longer here. Have a look at this estate planning guide for some practical advice, and then speak to an attorney. And make every effort to save money, and get out of any debts you are beholden to, as you will then have more money to leave to the people you love. You might even put money away for certain people in your life, perhaps in a college fund for your children or grandchildren, to ensure that the money you leave behind can be used for great and lasting things.
#4: Be a good role model
Think about the people who look up to you. If you can be a good role model to them, you might inspire them to live a positive life. So, be kind to the people you meet. Make every effort to live by the law. Practice the words you preach. And live the life that you hope others will live.
By doing so, you will shape the lives of those around you. They may be loved ones or strangers who see and hear you and strive to be better because of the impact you have had on them.
Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2 (NET Bible)
#5: Consider your epitaph
By taking the steps we have mentioned in this article, you will do much to leave a lasting legacy on the world after you have gone. But there is one final thing you can do, and that is to consider your final resting place. When choosing headstones from Memorials.com or similar places online, think about the words you want to leave behind. What words could be inscribed on your stone to leave a lasting impression on the people who stop by to pay their respects to you? You won’t be around to speak to them, but if you could leave an inspirational Bible verse, word of hope, or any other message that you want to leave behind, the physical representation of your words will last forever.
So, how will you be remembered? How can you leave a lasting legacy? Think about it, and do something today to make the future a better one for all those around you.
God bless you, take good care of yourself in these challenging days, and thanks for reading!