I’ve been reading Becky Harling’s newsletters for some time now, and find her to be a godly, insightful woman. This post about Upgrading your Legacy isn’t just for grandmas! I appreciate Becky’s perspective on building a legacy now – whatever your age.
“I realize that if I want to leave a godly legacy for those coming up behind me, I need to make intentional choices now,” Becky said.
Those of you who know me (Dawn) will know Becky had me at the word “choices.” Leaving a godly legacy doesn’t just happen.
Becky continues …
I have found I need to return to these choices often to remind myself of the end goal – leaving a godly legacy.
Choice 1: Prioritize personal purity.
In other words, don’t allow yourself to engage in “secret sins.” Choose integrity. Let your public life match your private life.
If you’re struggling in a particular area, confess your faults to a close friend or mentor and ask her to hold you accountable. James 5:16 instructs us, “Therefore, confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed.” When you dare to bring others into your struggles, it provides accountability and healing as they pray for you.
Choice 2: Break the cycle of ungrace.
A judgmental spirit and bitterness is often passed from one generation to another in families. Think of older people you know who have never forgiven those who have hurt them. They harbor bitterness. I don’t want to be like that!
I have found that I must continually ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse my mind. It’s so easy to hang on to our hurts and build a monument to our personal pain.
Jesus calls us to something entirely different. He commands us to “settle matters quickly” (Matthew 5:25). In other words, learn to let go of your hurts and offer grace instead.
Choice 3: Commit to sharing the gospel and investing in others.
One of my daughters reminds her four-year-old son, “Jesus first, others second, you last.” That’s a great policy for our lives, isn’t it?
Practice lifting your focus to God every day in praise, then turn your focus outward to see how you might invest in someone else, and then finally glance inward.
Too often we become obsessed with ourselves and forget that God wants us exalting Him and encouraging others.
Choice 4: Choose praise over complaining.
Whew! That’s tough, isn’t it? It’s so easy to complain even about the small things in life, like the weather, the food we eat, or the clothes we wear.
The Apostle Paul wrote that we should, “Do everything without complaining” (Philippians 2:14). I fear sometimes that we are so accustomed to complaining that we don’t even realize we’re doing it anymore.
What if we became ruthless with ourselves in the area of complaining? What if the next time we feel like complaining, we start praising God instead? Wow. Imagine how our attitudes would change. Imagine the positive legacy we would leave behind.
What kind of spiritual legacy are you leaving for your children and grandchildren? The people you mentor? Others who are watching your life? What can you do today to insure you leave a godly legacy?
Becky Harling is a sought-after speaker and the author of several books, including Rewriting Your Emotional Script, Freedom from Performing, The 30 Day Praise Challenge and The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents. Her degree in biblical literature, and her experience as a missionary, women's ministries director, pastor’s wife and breast cancer survivor, bring depth to her message. She and her husband Steve live in Arvada, Colorado, and they have four grown children and five grandchildren.
Note: This post is adapted from a Becky Harling Ministries newsletter (6-6-14).