What Legacy are You Leaving?


Recently, I’ve been tracing my family history.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do just to satisfy my own curiosity.  

Traveling back through the pages of time, I find it interesting how many characteristics, personality traits, and philosophies of life my ancestors and I have in common.  

Take for instance; my great, great grandfather on my dad’s side was a minister.  Perhaps that’s where I get my passion for ministry.

My grandmother, while just a young girl, was invited to ride in the Wright brother’s primitive airplane.  Of course, her dad, my great grandfather, would not allow it much to her chagrin.   I have no doubt, however, her sense of adventure and determination was peeked, and I like to think I have a little of that free spirit in me today.  

The majority of my ancestors lived in North Carolina – a place I feel very at home at.  And finally, one of my great, great, greats was in the Revolutionary War.  I guess you could say my sense of patriotism was birthed in that man, along with his passion for freedom. Though my family history probably looks very different from yours, it is still a vital part of who I am. 

Have you ever heard of Jonathan Edwards, the 1700s Puritan preacher (no, not the wayward Senator from North Carolina)?  Through this one man and his wife, Sarah’s commitment to Christ and humble obedience in rearing 11 children in a godly home, the following is the legacy they left:

1 U.S. Vice-President,
3 U.S. Senators,
3 governors,
3 mayors,
13 college presidents,
30 judges,
65 professors,
80 public office holders,
100 lawyers and
100 missionaries.

Incredible!  Not only did his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so forth, succeed in material blessings, they also excelled in spiritual blessings – the most important part.

All these ancestry trails lead me to my question… what’s your legacy?  God was and is very big on generational lineages.  Many times over He commanded the people to teach their children the truths from generation to generation understanding that one misstep in the lineage – one failure to pass down their heritage and their faith, could cost a whole generation their safety, security and even their eternity.

As men and women today, or in my case officers and spouses, I wonder what legacy we are leaving for the generations to come.  Will our children understand the importance of a strong faith?  Do those we serve every day see Christian character and love within us?  Are we making a difference in people’s lives by our actions and attitudes?  Will Christ find us faithful?

Asking ourselves these questions, I challenge you to search your heart and discover what legacy you’re leaving for those who will follow ten, twenty, a hundred years from now.  God thinks it’s important…do you?

Kristi Neace

“…Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:3