The Importance of Leaving a Legacy

If you could imagine the days of your life being written on paper, where death is the final period. Your legacy becomes the book you wrote with how you lived your life.

It signifies the completion of your body of work on earth.

Your legacy is birthed when you have taken your final breath.

It leads me to believe no man will ever meet their legacy. That the full impact of what you have completed with your life will never be realized by yourself.

You will never know the full impact of how you lived your life affected others.

In fact, I don’t believe people understand the full impact until death is present. While you are living people may talk about the legacy you will leave, but no one ever truly know until the final period is placed.

It leads me back to the understanding that real men live their lives for more than just themselves. The impact they make in their home and society goes beyond selfish gain and ambition. Real men understand legacy.

Legacy is the only thing that stays here on earth when you pass. It is the only thing you can hand down to your children and followers to continue to enrich and guide their lives. Being intentional to build a legacy that will live long beyond your days on earth is one of the greatest, most selfless, accomplishments a man can achieve.

This was made evident with a couple recent passings of some extraordinary men whom I admired. I never met these men but their body of work impacted me greatly. How they lived their lives gave me a healthy model to follow. These were men of integrity that had no slander against their name and no path of destruction left behind them.

Instead they had a positive impact on every life they touched. Every encounter with them was full of life and positivity. These two men left a big whole in my heart when they left earth while at the same time challenged me to question the legacy I will leave behind.

These two men were Dr. Myles Munroe and Stuart Scott.

Dr. Myles Munroe

Dr. Myles Munroe and wife Ruth Munroe
Dr. Munroe and his lovely wife Ruth

The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose. ~ Dr. Myles Munroe

Dr. Myles Munroe was the senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International.

He left a legacy of leadership that is untouchable and unquestionable. He challenged men on every level of being a husband and father. He set the example of how a true leader is supposes to lead at home and outside of the home.

With nearly 33 years of ministry there was never any question about his finances, or is dedication to his marriage. With all the success he achieved no one ever questioned is character. He may not have been a household name for everyone, but every household that encountered his sermons were bound to never be the same.

Dr. Munroe dedicated his life to leadership teaching and enriching the lives of others (more specifically men). He has a vast library of books and sermons that will remain ageless. His teachings on leadership will be just as relevant 100 years from now as they are today.

This is just touching the surface.

The moment Dr. Munroe (and his wife) died in a plane crash his legacy was fully birthed. It was so strong and apparent what this man had accomplished I was instantly grateful that he answered the call of manhood. He left behind a legacy that stands on its own and needs no explanation.

The way he lived his life could (and should) be modeled by anybody looking to achieve all that God has called them to.

I personally recall listening to a sermon of his at a time where I was flat broke and just ready to give up on life. The way he described faith and how to approach life instantly revitalized my spirit and gave me the strength to press on. I can honestly say that without his body of work I truly question if I would be where I am today.

You can see the exact sermon I watched below:

Sure God would have used another vessel to reach me, but I’m glad he chose Dr. Myles Munroe and I listened.

There will never be another.

Dr. Myles Munroe, thank you for your legacy.

Stuart Scott

Celebrating the life of Stuart Scott
Source: Espn.com

When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. ~ Stuart Scott

Stuart Scott was the first African American sports broadcaster on the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter (correct me if I’m wrong).

He brought to TV what no black man thought was possible. Phrases like “Boo-yah!” and “Call him butta, cuz he’s on a roll”. These were phrases I was so used to hearing in my everyday talk with my friends or at the barbershop, but never on national television.

But Stuart Scott pulled it off and he did it with class. He could use ghetto vernacular without appearing ghetto. He made slang appealing to more than those watching who could relate, but also to those who had no clue what it meant and just liked how it sounded.

Somehow Stuart Scott infiltrated a world dominated by white men and remained true to himself. He never tried to be anything other than a strong, confident, well-spoken, and properly presented black man. He never played the race card or ever blamed race as a reason he couldn’t succeed. He simply showed up everyday and performed.

The moment he died to cancer his legacy punched us in the gut. Everybody felt it.

They way he lived his life became immediate ministry to those on how they should aspire to live theirs.

He loved his daughters with all that he had in him and they knew it. Not one day can I imagine those girls woke up wondering where their daddy was and if he was coming home. He was always there for them.

He provided a healthy image of manhood for them. Providing a great measuring stick of manhood for any man they may encounter as they grow into adulthood.

Stuart Scott’s impact went beyond racial barriers. His legacy affected every single person, race, gender, age, and culture. What he did on television and off is something to be admired by ALL people.

Thank you for your contribution to life and your legacy Stuart Scott.

You will be truly missed.

Your Legacy

What will people say about you when you’re gone?

Are you intentional about creating a body of work that will live long after you’re gone?

Are all of your goals in life centered around you instead of impacting the lives of others?

Take some time and think deeply about these questions. What a man leaves behind when he passes is the true validation of his manhood. It forces you to think beyond your current situation and understand that there is more required of you.

There is more required of you than just making money.

There is more required of you than the amount of beautiful women you can share a bed with.

There is more required of you than just existing and making it through life.

How will you live your life today to impact people’s lives tomorrow?

Your life is a gift from God. Your legacy is how you package that gift for the world to consume.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on legacy in the comments below.