Hurrah! It’s my birthday!!! It’s a time for celebration, lots of cake, but also reflection and goal planning for the coming year.
Part of my reflection concerns my legacy … I definitely have more years behind me than ahead, so I wonder:
- What will people remember about me?
- Have I made a difference?
- Do I have any secrets left to deal with?
When we die, hidden things get exposed.
Our journals, our dresser drawers, our computer history, our credit card balances, and every corner of every closet will be exposed.
Loved ones and strangers will sift and sort and dig and ultimately judge us by the contents of our treasures and our trash.
I know this because I have been the one to sift and sort through the stacks and shelves of dead men’s things.
I have buried many who were close to me. They all left behind stuff that tells a story about the way they lived. The choices they made, the secrets they kept.
Though my mom lived in her condo for 7 years, her oven racks were still bound up in the original packaging. She had never turned on her oven!
A love letter I’d written to my husband decades earlier was tucked in the recesses of his wallet. A bible filled with personal notes and declarations.
Reminders of glory days
Boxes of photos. Wedding dresses and pressed flowers. A high school letterman’s jacket, stiff with age, laden with medals.
Overwhelming credit card balances and girly magazines.
Secrets rarely stay secret forever.
It can be a little scary, can’t it? When your office is emptied and your computer is scanned, what will be found? What secrets will be discovered when your family rummages through your belongings and your bank statements?
It’s so important to make choices you can live with because they last long after you die.
Your legacy is determined by how you live now. The body of work you create in the days on this earth could be overshadowed by the choices you make in the dark.
- Break attachments with that which will kill.
- Choose to discard that which steals.
- Refuse to continue that which will destroy.
- Don’t betray a lifetime of encouragement and good works with a secret that will overtake your legacy and impugn your reputation.
The legacy you leave in the future starts with the decisions you make today.
How do you bring secrets out of the dark?
Confess it to God. Repent (change your mind about the way you think about the secret) Ask for forgiveness.
Take responsibility for your actions. Seek help from a friend, pastor or counselor. Beg God for self-control and a solution for restoration.
Be accountable for your behavior. Develop an action plan to keep you safe and begin the restoration. Share your journey and your victory in safe groups.
Praise God for the new legacy He is creating for you.
Don’t live in fear of being found out.
By making different decisions today, and dealing with the secrets now, you can guarantee your legacy and reputation will be intact for as long as you live and long after you die.
Verse for today: I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16 NIV
Prayer: Father, Create in me a clean heart. Let me work with clean hands. Guide me to keep a clear conscience. I want to represent you well and leave a legacy of grace and righteousness. Help me to follow you all the days of my life so that I can leave this life unashamed.