Lakewood Blog

By Scott Smith

“He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31

The community group Dawn and I are in is presently working through Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ The Love & Respect Experience. In Chapter 18, Eggerichs writes about the life of legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. “Coach,” as he was often called, amassed quite a résumé. From 1948 to 1975, “his teams had four perfect 30-0 seasons, eighty-eight consecutive victories, thirty-eight straight NCAA tournament wins, twenty PAC-10 championships, and an unprecedented, never equaled achievement of ten NCAA national championships.”
     Coach Wooden was once quoted as saying, “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.” Let me ask you: at the end of your life, will your life really matter? Will you leave a life-giving legacy? You may ask, “How do you do that?” Here’s how…
     Live with the end in mind. If you could orchestrate it today, what would you want the end of your life to look like? What would you want people to say at your funeral? How would you want to be remembered? What impact would you have wanted to make? Let those thoughts of tomorrow be the starting point for today. Back track from your desired ending to today. Then, begin living your eulogy today. Live today so your funeral will be a celebration of a life well-lived.
     So how do you start? Begin here: in your life there are people who are either “death-dealers” or “live-givers.” Death-dealers suck the life out of you. They’re the people you tend to walk away from when you see them coming. They’re negative. They’re pessimistic. Something always seems to be wrong in their life. Simply put, they’re no fun to be around. They drain you emotionally and mentally.
     On the other hand, you also have people in your life who are life-givers. These folks bring inspiration, joy and vitality to you. They literally give life to you. They breathe wind into your sails. You enjoy being around them. They call out the best in you. They help you become a better version of you. They live a life you wouldn’t mind imitating. When you leave their presence you feel lighter on your feet.
     What type of person are you? Are you a death-dealer or a life-giver? If you really want to be brave, ask that question of someone who will be completely honest with you. Then, determine what corrections need to be made in order to better leave a life-giving legacy. The legacy you leave reveals much about the priorities you hold before you’re gone. What will your legacy be?
Ask yourself these questions:
  • What are my priorities today? 
  • Will those priorities help or hinder me from leaving a life-giving legacy? 
  • What do my priorities today say about the legacy I want to leave tomorrow? 
  • What adjustments do I need to make in my life today to better position myself to leave a life-giving legacy?