Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Greatest Legacy

I spent today at a funeral for an 84-year-old woman. As I listened to the people who spoke, I noticed that no one praised her for what she did in life, but for how she loved people.

This woman spent her life as a mother and a pastor's wife. People talked about how she opened her home to a church every Sunday, how she loved to teach children in Sunday school, how she made spaghetti for the congregation every Sunday, and how she brought many of them into the Kingdom of God by the time she spent with them. She was a true Mother of the church.

Many people are concerned about leaving a legacy. They want to be remembered. They want to leave their mark on society--something that will show they have been on earth.

The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt spent their lives building pyramids as monuments to their reigns. Presidents of the United States talk about their legacy and build presidential libraries. Many people spend their lives making a lot of money to leave to their heirs. Others write books, paint or sculpt artistic creations, build houses, earn degrees, do humanitarian deeds.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that 'God has planted eternity in the human heart.' It is no wonder, then, that we spend our days trying to do something that will outlast us.

First Corinthians 13:13 names the only lasting legacy we can leave: love. That's why God tells us to make love the ultimate priority of our lives.

When people come to the end of their lives, do they want to look at the rewards and medals, their diplomas and gold watches, the books they have authored, their artistic creations?

No, they want to see the people they love. Seldom do they say, "I wish I had done more." The most common wish is that they had spent more time with their loved ones.

Mother Teresa once said, "It's not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters."

The greatest legacy we can leave is not our wealth or our accomplishments, but our love for our family, for the family of God, and for humankind.

Wisdom is realizing that love is the most important thing in life. Let's not wait until our life is ending to discover that. Let's begin today to build a legacy of love.

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