Leaving a Living and Lasting Legacy

More than two weeks ago, Taipan John Gokongwei marked his 80th birthday by giving away a whopping P10.25 billion to charity, donating his entire personal shareholdings in JG Summit Holdings. When asked why, he answered, “Life has been good to me. I want to give back the blessings that I have received.”

You don’t have to be a billionaire to leave a living and lasting legacy. Life may not be that good to us. But God is. He has blessed us to be a blessing to others.
In his birthday speech, Gokongwei shared a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. A portion goes like this: “to leave the world a little better... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”

In his Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald wrote about a very successful man who was actually crumbling inside. He had accumulated a lot; a house in an upper-class neighborhood, a sports car and a boat. But his marriage and family life were in life-support. And his wife was about to pull to plug by filing for a divorce. During counseling, MacDonald discovered why this person was driving himself, his wife and kids crazy. When he was child, his father subjected him to sarcasm and ridicule. He would hear his father say, “You’re a failure. You will always be a failure.” So he pushed himself hard to prove his father wrong, to make him eat his cruel words and to gain his acceptance. Even with great success in midlife, he still drove himself to gain that approval. But he will never get it. His father died a long time ago. What a sad legacy.

Surely, one of the best investments of our lives is in the life of your children.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 spells it out for us: “So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.” (Contemporary English Version) We are to bless our kids by imparting our love for God to them through our words and works.

Brethren, what legacy are you leaving behind?

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