All of us will leave a legacy of some kind. It will either be a legacy that made a difference, that left a positive impact in the lives of those around us, or it will be a legacy that blows away in the wind, like chaff.
Teens, you are young, but you are building a legacy right now. If you were to be blown off the face of this earth right at this moment, what would your legacy be? That even though you claimed to be a Christian you did nothing but complain about church and other people, had no interest in reading God's Word, had lots of sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend, got drunk a lot, played a lot of video games, fought with your parents, fought with your siblings, fed on the drama of others, and whined about your problems in life? Who would remember you for how you sacrificed to make a difference in their lives? Anyone? Have you made a sacrifice to make a difference in anyone's life, or is it all about your life and how hard your life is and how this or that person pisses you off?
Adults and parents, what about you? Are you too stuck on the failing economy or your crumbling marriage or the pain of your emotional instabilities to look at those around you and how they need you to contribute to their lives? Are you so stuck on wanting to be liked that you don't simply tell the truth to your children or your children's friends when they are walking in danger? Would you rather they think you are cool than hear you tell them, "Why are you doing that!?" Would you rather your kids like you rather than hear you tell them, "No, you need to come to church with me on Sunday -it is important?" What other things are you not saying? What other ways are you shrinking back from making a difference, from investing your time and care into them, from being there for them, guiding them, telling them what is important, and making sure they know it? And what about the other adults around you? Are you leaving a legacy with them? Are you giving yourself to them, making a positive contribution to their lives, or are you too stuck in victim-mode about your own life?
Jesus left a legacy. He lived a life characterized by pouring Himself out for others, culminating in His bloody death. Not once did Jesus make Himself the victim, even though He was the only truly innocent man to ever walk the earth. He left a legacy by thinking of those around Him. As His discipline, as sinful and doubtful as I am, I want to walk in those steps. I want to stop being the victim and falling back into passivity with those around me, especially my children. They need me to at least try, to show that I care, to be involved, and to tell them the truth. Maybe I won't be so popular. Jesus wasn't. But maybe, Lord willing, I will have left a legacy with them when all of superficial "fun" of others dies away.
It is easy, way too easy, to be all about you.