This month, I am looking at five decisions that will determine the legacy we will leave. Legacy is an interesting idea. We all want our life to be a success. We all want to know our life has counted for something.
In my experience, many people only start thinking about their legacy after they’ve made a major mistake or in a significant life transition. The reality is every day we make decisions that determine our legacy.
So far, we have looked at two decisions that determine our legacy:
Decision #3: What are your goals?
When I was a kid, I had all kinds of goals in my life. At one point, I wanted to be the next Richard Brodeur (the great goalie for the Vancouver Canucks). There was only one problem – I don’t know how to skate. As my life continued to move forward, my goals changed: I wanted to be a sports broadcaster, have a great family, make lots of money, etc.
We all have goals for our lives. We have dreams about our careers, homes, possessions, vacations, cars, hobbies, and more. What if we end up succeeding at things that don’t really matter in the end?
What if the goals of our life are actually strangling us from the goals that will give us the greatest legacy?
The aim of a follower of Jesus
In 2 Timothy 2:3, the apostle Paul teaches Timothy to share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. He is warning Timothy not to get entangled in civilian pursuits, because the aim of a good soldier is to please the one who enlisted him.
The goal of every believer and follower of Jesus should be to please and honour Jesus. He has rescued us from sin, and made it possible for us to become part of the family of God. His legacy is eternal – it goes for all generations.
Examining My Goals
The apostle Paul uses the word “aim” to describe the intention of the good soldier of Jesus. I have learned in my own life that I can become distracted from the aim of pleasing Jesus. There are so many things seeking my attention and the desires of my heart.
Here are some questions I use to examine the aim of my life.
- What do I spend more time thinking about – my goals or Jesus’ goals for me?
- How do I spend my time and money? Those things reveal what I believe is most important.
- What is distracting me from Jesus? What pursuits am I getting entangled with that really don’t matter to Jesus?
Sometimes, we focus on how hard it can be to follow Jesus. What I have found is we are willing to suffer for whatever our goals are. Think about the energy we put into getting a degree, pursuing a career goal, or chasing a trophy.
How we answer the question about our life goals will determine how long our legacy will last.