The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7
Positive emotions and rich images flourish when the righteous are mentioned. Joseph. Abraham. King David. John the Apostle. Martin Luther. D.L. Moody. Billy Graham. Negative images and conflicting emotions rise up when the names of wicked men are spoken. Jezebel. Ahab. Herod. Judas. Adolf Hitler. Jeffrey Dahmer. Sadam Hussein.
Now to personalize ~ What happens when I speak the names of family members I know well? The names of good people make me smile. The names of those who mis-use others, or at the very least, are self-centered, make me roll my eyes. I count the days until I can see the righteous. I number the days, with dread, when I’ll have to see their counterpart.
The whole law rests on two simple, scriptural principles. “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. And, love your neighbor as you love yourself.” As I think about legacies, it really does boil down to this greatest commandment. The people I desire to be around are the ones who walk humbly with God and love others. Pretty simple. I have no desire to spend time with those who know a lot. I do not wish to fellowship with the well-dressed, and self-focused. I recall the years I felt it was most important to impress others. I obsessed about my looks and my behavior ahead of time; my clothes, my hair, my contribution to conversations, all the while failing to realize that these very obsessions would distance me from others.
How often do I begin my day and ask, “Who can I love today, Lord?” Perhaps that is the greatest sign of spiritual maturity.
When my name is spoken today, how do others feel? A sobering question to ask myself but necessary if I wish to leave a righteous legacy for the glory of God.
Jesus, you drew others to Yourself because of Your love. Show me how others experience me. In Jesus’ name, Amen