I recently took a class on leadership and one of the assignments was to write what I wanted my legacy to be. I’m guessing the point is that as I thought about what I wanted people to remember about me after I’m retired/gone, that I would make sure those were the things I intentionally focus on to imprint others with.
As I was reading through 1 Chronicles this week, I was struck by several “legacies” that were not written by the people themselves, but by God. The Holy Spirit directed the Biblical authors to write the legacy that we would not write for them. In fact, those around them might not know how God viewed their lives–and that’s what really matters.
The first one is in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. In the middle of all of the recounting of the line of the Patriarchs and the line of David and Saul, there is a time out to tell about one man: Jabez. After that bio is written, it goes back to the genealogy. Jabez was described as being more honorable than his brothers and he cried out to God to bless him, to enlarge his territory and to be protected from pain and harm. So God blessed him.
The second short commentary is on Reuben in 1 Chronicles 5:1. He was the oldest of the 12 sons of Jacob, but he lost his spot because he defiled his father’s marriage bed. To the point. Out of all of the other things Reuben might have done in his life, perhaps good things, this was the thing God remembered him for.
Next, in 1 Chronicles 10:13 we get a summary paragraph of Saul’s life: “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord, even consulted a medium for guidance and did not inquire of the Lord, so the Lord put him to death.”
Wow. Is that your legacy? That you were unfaithful to the Lord, didn’t obey Him, didn’t pray and even consulted a fortune teller instead of God and so you died an early, shameful death?
Or, is God’s telling of your legacy like Jabez’s, who cry out to God, ask Him to bless you, want to be fruitful and effective for Him and want to be kept from harm? That you were more honorable than anyone else around, so much so that your name gets picked out of a large number to be noted.
That’s what I want. What I write about myself doesn’t matter, what others write about me doesn’t either–but what God writes about me and thinks about what I’ve done is the most important thing.
What would God say about your life?