Have you ever wondered what will comprise the memories of family and other acquaintances after your funeral, after the carefully concocted eulogies have been presented and those who knew you reflect back on what you were really like? Of course, we all have our quirks, and I am sure my kids and grandkids will have fun laughing at mine. But what about our character, those qualities that really matter?
Today I am creating my legacy, and so are you. That is the challenge of leaving a good legacy. No shortcuts exist. It is the product of a lifetime. A small minority of people may construct a legacy through heroic or otherwise memorable acts, but even many of those deeds are the outflow of the individual’s life. Jerry Rice captures that reality in his quote: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
We are working our way through Philippians 1:1 a word at a time. Today we arrive at “Timothy.” Almost two thousand years later and we still recall his sterling legacy, perhaps best captured in Paul’s assessment, “For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.” (Philippians 2:20) The Greek word translated “like-minded” literally means “equal-souled.” Of all those fine Christians Paul had gathered around him, none had a soul that equaled Timothy’s, especially in regard to life’s central issue of caring for other people. Timothy was displaying that quality in his care for Paul at that very time while he was imprisoned. It also manifested itself in his care for the Corinthians, the Thessalonians, and other.
How wonderful if we would leave a similar legacy. We are constructing it with the values, attitudes, and actions we are displaying today.