Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 17
What do you want to be known for? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
An actor named Troy Baker is known for saying, “I don’t ever want it to be about me. A friend of mine told me, ‘The difference between fame and notoriety is fame is when people know you, and notoriety is when people know your work.’ The first one is not respectable, but the second one is, because that leaves a legacy.” Ray Bradbury wrote in Fahrenheit 451,
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
The point is, as Bradbury states, we all “leave something behind,” but what will that something be? Today, we find ourselves at a leadership intersection. Asa’s rule had come to an end, and the reigns were handed to his son, Jehoshaphat. While he may have one of the most famous names found in scripture, that isn’t the only thing that defines him. When he took over as the principal leader of Judah, there was turmoil and tension in the land. His dad was part of the problem. As one commentator states, “The last years of Asa’s reign were characterized by conflicts and oppression, so Jehoshaphat needed to consolidate power within Judah to restore peace and stability. Israel had been an enemy during Asa’s days, but Jehoshaphat soon entered into an alliance with Ahab (18:1-2).”
Jehoshaphat could have continued in his father’s path. He could have allowed the schism in the land to continue. But that’s not why we know him. We know him as a good leader. Of course, he made mistakes, but he was one of the kings of the Holy Land who seemed to leave a positive ripple effect from his leadership. His legacy is one of peace and decent governance. My simple question to all of us today: “What kind of legacy will you leave?”
Here are two great questions to kick around in the comments section below:
1) Whose legacy has made a strong impact on your life/faith?
2) What Bible character’s legacy inspires you?
Posted by: Todd Thomas