Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing a Life Sentence for 2009 & Beyond

It’s hard to believe that we are so soon at the beginning of a New Year. Where did the last twelve months go? I pray that in these uncertain times you will find deep fulfillment and peaceful existence as you live in harmony with God and find your soul’s rest in him.

Toward the end of last year our staff at church finished reading through Leadership Gold by John C. Maxwell. The last chapter in this book is entitled, “People Will Summarize Your Life in One Sentence – Pick it Now” (244). In it Maxwell talks about thinking through what kind of legacy we will leave behind. He defines “legacy” as follows: “A legacy is something we leave behind to the next generation. It can be possessions that we place in the hands of others. It can be principles we lived that carry on beyond our lives. It can also be people we have influenced whose lives are better as a result of knowing us” (244-245). In other words, thinking about the topic of a legacy is to think about how your life can have a lasting impact on future generations.

One of the ways we can effectively begin to think about what our legacy will be is tied to how we view our lives. For example we can ask, what is our purpose? Writing a “life sentence” can help us define and narrow our purpose in life. For the Apostle Paul his life sentence was to be a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. In Titus 1:1 he wrote, “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.” (For help on thinking through one’s purpose in life, see my blogspot: “Life on Target,”

Sadly, a lot of us still don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives. As believers we understand that we are to glorify God and make his will in Christ be known to all. However, what is God's particular calling for you? What is your purpose? Long ago, renowned violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, stated, “I did know instinctively that to play was to be.” How about you? What were you created and gifted to do? What gives you the most passion and satisfaction in life? If given the opportunity, what would you do for the rest of your life? The answers to these questions will spell out your life sentence.

Have you sat down and written your life’s purpose? Have you written your life sentence? Have you asked yourself what legacy you want to leave to your children and family? How about to your church, community, or even world? (To be continued tomorrow).
Shalam Shalum (stay healthy, peaceful and prosperous) in 2009

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