By Dennis Petersen
Legacy is one of those words that are stuffed with meaning, but our generation has almost forgotten what the word even means, so why should anyone want to ‘reclaim’ it?
What do you think of when you hear the word? If I were to ask you, “What do you think is your legacy?” what would you tell me? Is it the economic ‘inheritance’ you leave to your family? Is it some of the intangible qualities of your life that you think others might remember you for? For some, it might be a tradition or an institution that was shaped by their participation. Whatever it is, it’s made up of lots of things that cross the ‘bridge’ of your life from all that went into your heritage to all that is received by your posterity (the next generation). Is it something worth consciously reclaiming?
What is the ‘Foundation’ of your legacy?
I believe a true ‘legacy’ is built on the foundation of truth itself and supports several essential ‘pillars’ that leave an undeniable benefit for those who follow your lead. At least five major principles of life contribute to our legacy and they each strengthen one another.
Character grows from the seedbed of truth and inevitably stirs our desire to pass along what we’ve learned through the education of others.
Understanding and Knowledge is a life-long process of increasing transformation out of darkness into light. One of the most primary domains of education surrounds all the aspects of what constitutes our health and wellness, both materially and spiritually.
Health and Wellness enables us to be creative and productive so we can generate varying manifestations of wealth that can affect generations to come.
Wealth is a powerful tool that enables us to influence others. When grounded in God and truth your wealth must be cherished as a ‘trust’ that is managed with God’s kingdom purposes in mind.
Influence is enabled by all the previous ‘pillars’ that Providence has built into our lives and should clearly be an effective ‘platform’ to establish a society-wide acknowledgment of the truth that is constantly at war with the deceptions and darkness that constantly tries to hide it.
Today’s Mainstream culture barely recognizes the concept of ‘Legacy.’
Looking at our culture and our generation today, everywhere I turn I see deception and distortion in all the areas of our legacy. Truth is thought by many to be ambiguous, changeable and irrelevant. Character is so compromised that it seems normal when we don’t even trust ourselves. Education is so corrupted and ‘politically correct’ that the basic life skills are marginalized and history is ‘rewritten.’ Health and Wellness is failing badly as nature is ignored in favor of synthetic ‘remedies’ and even synthetic ‘foods.’ Wealth is perverted by forgetting the purpose of it to establish Godly influence in human lives. And influence has become more about ‘buying’ power than leading others to discover the truth.
It’s Time to Rediscover and Activate Legacy Thinking.
I believe that we live in a generation that is rediscovering the timeless reality that we all pass on a legacy. Rather than just living day to day for the fleeting pleasures of here and now, a legacy-minded man or woman deliberately considers life as a gift not to be wasted and all these really important things are ‘invested’ in the light of a multi-generational perspective.
Will you be pro-active with your legacy? Will you seek to maximize the influence you will have on your generation by taking the truth to heart and engaging the challenges of a distorted view of these five areas of life? If so, you’re bound to have opportunities to stretch yourself as early as tomorrow. And once you’re stretched you’ll never be the same. The legacy you leave will be increasingly appreciated by those whose lives you influence.
I found a remarkable passage in the book of Psalms about ‘Legacy.’
“We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”