We recently had a men’s boot camp where we discussed the importance of building a spiritual legacy. We are called to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ with all those we meet. It’s a tall order but we need to remember that we may be the only Jesus some people will encounter. So how do we go about building this spiritual legacy?
I thought of an acronym to help me think about the important elements of building a legacy.
Listen - It is so important to listen to others and to be engaged, to fully hear the matter. In James 1:19 we are told, “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…” By effectively listening, we can bring Godly counsel into every situation. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” Being a good listener is an important step in building your spiritual legacy.
Encourage – This is one of the more important things we can do. Be an encourager. Find the good in people and point out their positive traits. I always say that people need a little air in their tires, and it is so true. You will be surprised at the reaction you get when you become an encourager. I Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing…” Encouragement is another important building block in your spiritual legacy.
Give – Don’t be afraid to give. Be it your time, your advice, your heart, it is important to give of yourself. It is important to invest in others and have a vested interest in their success. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27.
Affirm – Affirm is the cousin to encourage. But in order to affirm you need to really know that person; to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to point them toward success. Affirmation is a powerful tool to impact others and to help them become the best they can be. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17.
Care – To have an effective legacy for Christ, you have to care about others. It is important to be open and transparent by expressing compassion and sincerity. If we remember how much Christ loves us and cares for us, it will be easy to show that care to others. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32. Caring for others is a sure way to build a positive spiritual legacy.
Yield – If you want to be effective in building your legacy for Jesus you must yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14-16 says “For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God. These are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out 'Abba, Father,' the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The primary foundation for building our legacy is first surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Everything else comes after that.
So how about you? What do you think it takes to build your legacy for Christ? Perhaps there are better words that fit your acronym for building your legacy. Take some time to contemplate the importance of passing on a love for God to your children and grandchildren, but don’t stop there. What about the people you work with or come in contact with each day? You have a chance to be a light in their world for the Lord. Start building your legacy today.