1) How do you want to be remembered? - By your family, your friends, your community, your church, where you worked?
2) How do you think you will be remembered? - Be honest. Is it the same as how
you want to be remembered?
3) Are you living your life in such a way that you will be remembered in the way you want to be remembered? - Is there anything that needs to change?
A few months ago my wife and I attended the funeral of an old friend. We had gone to college with Bob and his wife Ruth. It was a hard funeral to attend as he died too soon - too young. He was the headmaster of a Christian school - a position he held for 34
years, and he was the one who gave my wife her first job as a teacher.
He died suddenly and unexpectedly from a simple medical procedure that normally is performed without a hitch. In fact he sent a text on Thursday to schedule a meeting for the following Monday. But on Friday he died. He didn’t expect to die - at least not then. But, his life was over - what was done was done. No time to correct his mistakes or change the way people saw him or thought of him.
But, as slides of his life were shared and as family and friends spoke, it told the story of a godly man, a man of humility, one who despite his position would stop to pick-up trash in the school yard, or play jump rope with kids on the playground. They held-up
his well-worn Bible filled with notes and prayer lists naming students and teachers he was praying for. They spoke of how he got up early each morning to read and pray. He loved God and he loved people - and he had a special heart for children.
By worldly standards, Bob was not what most would consider to be “wealthy”, but the values of Bob’s life were on full display, and he was remembered well. He was a good man, a godly man, a man who’s life was well lived. And I imagine as he entered into
heaven, he heard “Well done thou good and faithful servant of God. Enter into the joy of your Master.”
Will similar things be said of me? I hope so. But I still have time. Is there anything I need to change? Of course I want to leave some of my worldly possessions to my children - an inheritance. Proverbs 13: 22 even speaks of that.
But the legacy I leave behind is so much more than simply the worldly possessions I leave behind. It also includes my faith and the values by which I lived my life and modeled for my children. It includes the influence and impact I had on my co-workers and neighbors.
So, how will I be remembered? As a man of God, a man of integrity, a compassionate man, willing to put others above himself, and as a generous man willing to share with those in need? Most importantly, will I be remembered for being the person God wants
me to be?
Or will I be remembered for something else? As we’re challenged in Joel 2 - will my inheritance be a reproach causing people to say - “Where is his God?”
One of the biggest challenges families face is not in passing on their wealth - with the right attorney that can be accomplished fairly easily in the most tax efficient manner.
The real challenge is in passing on their faith in God and the values they hold dear - hoping their children will “inherit” and adopt their faith and those values for themselves, continuing to live by that faith and those values long after the parents are gone. 1 Peter 1 describes this as an inheritance that is not perishable and will not fade away.
But, there’s an old saying: “values are caught - not taught.” Children are far more responsive to what they see modeled than what they are told.
Does my life exhibit my faith and demonstrate my values? Am I living my life in such a way that my children see Christ reflected through me? Have they “caught” my values and do they see me living out my faith, and in turn do they want to model Christ?
As we consider stewardship and our responsibilities before the Lord, let me encourage you to review your priorities and be a steward of your faith and values - not just your financial assets.
How will you be remembered? Does anything need to change?There’s still time. Is the way you are now living reflect your faith in Christ and your values to those around you?
A recent article in Barron’s reported that 9 out of 10 young people say that the most important thing they will inherit from their parents is their values - not their wealth. As part of your estate planning process, have you considered creating a Family Mission
Statement to help communicate and pass on the faith and values you hold dear to your children and your grandchildren? Does your mission statement include a mission for God?
What legacy will you leave - financial and spiritual - to accomplish that ongoing mission?
More to come...
Do you have questions about managing your finances from a Biblical perspective?
For guidance feel free to call Kent Anderson at (239)596-8600 x254.