Many people become overwhelmed by things in life because they’re underwhelmed by God.
Leaders leave a deep imprint on the lives the people who follow them. Because of this fact, one of the passions of all leaders should be to leave a legacy for the next generation of leaders. There is a story in the Bible about a king (or a leader) who left a counterfeit legacy, his name was Absalom.
"During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, "I have no son to carry on the memory of my name." He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day." - 2 Samuel 18:18 NIV
This is what is written about King David’s son, Absalom, just after his untimely death. I noticed one major thing from this verse of Scripture: every person has the innate desire to leave a legacy behind so that they will be remembered when they are gone. There is a problem with the way that Absalom did this. He left a counterfeit legacy. A true legacy is deposited into the life of someone whom you have left behind. It is pouring your life into another person in such a way that you impact them for the rest of their lives. Absalom wanted to leave a mark, but he made it in the wrong way. A counterfeit legacy is something that a person tries to do to be remembered, whereas a true legacy is left in the life of someone still here.
So, why would someone leave a counterfeit legacy? Because it is easier. It’s the shortcut. It is hard to leave a mark on another person. It takes time, lots of time. And it takes sweat, tears, and blood… It takes you depositing your life into another person. Many people try to leave money behind to those they love and think it will be enough. Money is never enough. How many people have you seen that get a large inheritance that do something foolish with the money? The Bible even says that this is meaningless.
Look at our Scripture again, why did Absalom build the monument? It says, "for he thought, ‘I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.’" He thought about the legacy that he wasn’t leaving to any person and he needed to build something. Let me get personal: In whom are you leaving a legacy? Who are you intentionally pouring your life, character and values into so that their life is different? Please, don’t reach the end of your life like Absalom and have to build a monument because you are ashamed at the lack of legacy that you have left behind. You don’t have to have children of your own, find someone who needs a mentor and help them succeed. One of the most valuable things a leader can do is to leave a legacy for those who follow them. What kind of legacy are you leaving?
Start small, but start now.