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Although a very morbid question (for a Friday afternoon) have you ever wondered what you’ll be leaving behind when you depart from earth? In a sermon one Sunday, my pastor made the remark that all the properties and investments he has made won’t benefit him, but would benefit his children, grandchildren and so on; they will enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Many parents and general working adults may share this sentiment and it would be realistic of them to. Ensuring that a will is made, health insurance is available and that the children and grandchildren are trained up to run the family business effectively are all essential to leaving a legacy behind. However is this all we should strive to leave behind?
American business magazine Forbes.com published an article this week titled, ‘Top earning dead celebrities 2016’ and Premier Gospel decided to throw the question, ‘What can we learn from Forbes’ richest dead celebrities?’, out to their listeners. 83% of listeners voted that leaving a legacy is important, 17% voted that money has no loyalty and 0% voted wealth isn’t enough.
The Forbes list included iconic celebrities such as, King of pop, Michael Jackson, whose legacy was a humungous $155M. Next was hip swinging Elvis Presley with $55M, Snoopy creator Charles Schulz with $30M, Reggae pioneer Bob Marley at $21M and then American actress Elizabeth Tayler at $20M.
“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. “
Sadly, these celebs are no longer with us. However, their musical legacy has been left behind and their financial legacy will continue to grow and benefit those that were left in charge of it.
These staggering legacies will shock most who read them, but the reality is money is not something that we can take to the grave with us. Spending most of efforts chasing money and trying to attain wealth can come at a cost. Family can be neglected, personal time is minimal and hearing God’s voice and listening to his guidance may come last on the priority list.
As Christians our legacies should consist of our contribution to the world, be that serving communities, evangelism, mentoring or worldwide missionary trips- as well as taking care of our families and loved ones. Recently given the title of Saint Teresa of Kolkatta, missionary Mother Teresa once said, “Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. “
Jesus being our biggest example of someone who left a lasting legacy on earth through his life and purpose, showed how it can be done and money had nothing little to do with it. He impacted lives, served communities, transformed minds and ultimately was the bridge between God and his people.
The next time the term legacy comes up, consider the holistic legacy that you would like to leave behind.
Written by Tamala Ceasar, Digital Producer