“We will not keep them from our children; we will tell the next generation about the Lord‘s power and his great deeds and the wonderful things he has done.”
(Psalms 78:4 GNB)
Legacies are not just lived. They are shared. Told. The passion in our souls yearns to live well and leave well, but sometimes great legacies are lost because the next generation does not know how to apprehend it.
From the moment we first became parents, grandparents or caretakers, our hearts burned with the thought of whether our loved ones would have enough. Enough provision, sufficient grace and the wisdom with which to live and leave a legacy themselves.
We know the stories all too well. Families torn apart by an inheritance that was intended to bless them. In our hearts we fear the same could happen to us, and so we set out to do our part to ensure that our loved ones will be prepared for this life and for eternity.
Striking a balance between wealth and wisdom preparation for loved ones can feel like an impossible pursuit. On the one hand, we want to ensure they have more than enough provision without letting that provision be their undoing. On the other hand, if their hearts are not ready to receive the blessing you want to give them, then the hard work in planning for their provision may not be a blessing, after all.
Cultivating a family legacy is not a once and done proposition, nor is it as simple as a “to do” list. But a legacy can last if it is formed in the right place. The hearts we are caring for need to be nurtured and prepared well or our work toward their provision will be in vain.
We are often not objective enough to provide an honest assessment of our progress in the preparation of our heirs. But how do we determine whether or not what we are doing is enough? The word of God is our plumb line. Are we daily applying His word, seeking God’s will in our lives and mentoring those who come after us?
Taking an assessment can also be a useful tool to show where we might have overlooked important steps in cultivating a legacy that endures. Click here or below for an assessment that we have on our website to help you see where you might have some loopholes.
Once you have an understanding of where you are making progress and also where your blind spots might be in planning our family legacy, you are in a better position to put together an informed plan. Determining your goals will take significant consideration. What is important for you to pass on to your family? What are the motivating factors behind your planning? Will you:
- Confidently live and leave a blessing to future generations?
- Advance God’s Kingdom and the causes close to His heart?
- Organize your purpose into a legacy plan your family can follow?
Hope alone is not a plan, but when our hope is in Christ, our hope is certain, and God’s word shows us the way. Planning our spiritual, personal and financial legacies is more effective when our planning coexists with wisdom transfer.
Cultivating a Spiritual Legacy
The first cornerstone in our foundation is Christ. Our spiritual legacy lasts forever and those around us are impacted the most when we live and leave a spiritual legacy that is not built on the world’s principles, but on God’s wisdom. How we share that legacy can make all the difference in the world, too.
What will those around you say about your faith? Does it inspire them to walk with God? How did you communicate your relationship with God? Did you walk in fellowship and accountability with others? A spiritual legacy is not formed by religion or rote. It is demonstrated by a life that walks closely with God and applies God’s principles in the daily, bearing fruit that exemplifies Christ. The legacy of our faith is caught when we live our faith so authentically that the next generation grabs a hold and wants the same peace and joy we exhibit.
Cultivating a Family Legacy That Endures Requires Faith, Wisdom and Intentionality. As we are faithful to live a genuine faith and to tell the next generation what the LORD has done for us, the testimonies of God’s faithfulness spark a faith in others that is alive. Preserving our faith through journals and sharing at family gatherings will echo for generations and maybe even impact some souls for eternity.
What ways have you found to cultivate a family legacy? Share in the comments below for a chance to win Jeff’s new book, “Create a Thriving Family Legacy: How to Share Your Wisdom and Wealth with Your Children and Grandchildren“. Join us next week as we look deeper into cultivating a family legacy through our personal legacy.