What is your legacy?

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

According to Webster’s Concise Dictionary, the word “legacy” means anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor.

Last summer at my grandpa Papa’s, funeral, I was asked to write a lifesketch and speech in memory of him. As I began to work on the speech, I was convicted once again of the importance of the legacy we, as parents, leave behind for our children.

Papa had so many people who loved him. In writing my speech, I gave a lot of thought to legacies and what they mean.

Remembering the legacy Papa left…

According to an article by Dr. Greg Bourgond “at the end of a life-there are four possible legacies we can leave:

(1) No legacy, (2) a bad legacy, (3) a perishable legacy, or (4) a lasting Godly legacy in the lives in the others.”

Why is leaving a lasting Godly legacy important? What is a Godly legacy?

I once heard a quote from Austin L. Sorensen that went like this: “A child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.”

Wow, that’s a powerful thought and something we, as parents, should take very seriously.

How can a child find something of God in his or her father? For example, are daddy’s arms always open whenever there is a problem? Is daddy a refuge in times of trouble? Is he a shield from the bad day at school or the fight with a best friend? Is daddy loving, caring, and full of grace? Is he forgiving? Does he put the needs of others first? Is daddy someone his child can trust? Is he an encourager, is he patient, and kind? God is all of these things and these are just a few of the glimpses of God a child can see in her father. To see such things in her daddy helps her to see that God is all of those things and more, only to perfection.

Woodrow Kroll from Back to the Bible has compiled a great listing of some characteristics of a Godly man: He says that Godly Men are the leaders, protectors, and teachers in their homes. Godly men are worship leaders, disciplinarians, counselors, and encouragers in their homes.

Parents don’t realize how important they are in their children’s lives and this is just another testament to this fact. I can testify as Papa’s granddaughter that I saw him exhibit traits such as being a pillar of strength, protective, loving, and caring. He was a hard worker, provided for his family, and desired justice, yet not revenge.

When I consider Papa’s legacy, I am inspired to consider my own legacy that I am building in my children.

In the song “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman, she sings:

“I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy…”

When you reach the end of your life, will you have accepted the grace offered by the Lord Jesus Christ? Will God be saying to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”

Whether we are moms or dads, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, or grandparents, may we all leave behind a legacy that speaks of Christ and His saving grace that lives within us. As Dr. Greg Bourgond says, “live your life for an audience of One!”

Will you join me in prayer? Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of Papa. Thank You for the many years You gave him to us and thank You for allowing us to see glimpses of You in him. Lord, I pray today that we would all exhibit glimpses of You within us, whether to our children or to the stranger in the grocery store. Help us to be that salt and light that You have called us to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sources: http://acomplete180.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/what-are-the-characteristics-of-a-godly-man/





10 thoughts on “What is your legacy?

  1. Love this post, Penny. As Christian writers, part of the legacy we leave behind will be our written works. It’s good to keep this in mind as we write. What do we want to tell the world long after we’re gone?


  2. What a beautiful post, Penny! Made me cry. 🙂 Your Papa sounded like a great man of God. What an awesome legacy of faith to pass on to your family.

    I forwarded your post on to Trevor, too, just as a reminder. 🙂

    I hope you are having a blessed week!

    • Thank you, Kerry, for your kind words! Papa was an amazing man – I remember riding with he and my grandpa to church in their old fashioned car. He would hum and whistle hymns…ah, such a memories!

      Good idea to pass it on to Trevor – I’ve passed it on to Lon a time or two also 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend, my sweet friend!

  3. Wow. A powerful and convicting post for this father of four (soon to be five). I’m especially moved by this quote: “A child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.”

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. A beautiful and powerful message Penny. I’m joining you in praying that we all “leave behind a legacy that speaks of Christ and His saving grace that lives within us.” Amen! Thank you for linking up for Three Word Wednesday. I’m always excited when new people join us. I hope you join us again tomorrow!! Many blessings.

    • Thank you, Simply Beth, for stopping by and for your kind words about my post. Thank you also for graciously hosting the link up for Three Word Wednesday. I appreciate you! Have a blessed rest of your week and a Happy Thanksgiving.

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