A Legacy of Righteousness

“He did what was right.” 2 Kings 22:2 NIV

“The legacy you will leave should be more righteous, not less, than you were given.”

My thoughts today are about leaving “a legacy of righteousness.”

When my Dad died in a highway accident at a young age of 44, he did not leave many material things – a small house worth only what was owed on it, and an insurance policy for a few thousand dollars. But he left something invaluable to me that still shapes much of who I am and what I believe. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 2 Kings 22:2 NIV. I realize how often his words and example deposited practical – and Godly – wisdom that guide so many of my  choices and decisions, long after his life ended.

My Dad left a legacy of righteousness that still calls and challenges me to be better than I would have been without his words and example. I hope that I will have passed on, and built upon, that legacy for our children and grandchildren, and the generations to follow. My life has long been challenged by a Bible verse, “Therefore God was not ashamed to be called their God.” Hebrews 11:16. I trust that, as well as today’s verse, can be said of me, “He did what was right!” Not always an easy thing to do, but always the right thing to do. Everyone leaves something for those following – by their example, some leave others better, and some don’t.

In a few days I will attend the memorial service of my dearest of friends, 26 years my senior and 33 years my friend. These past days, he has been often in my thoughts – but it has been his life, not his death that occupy those. He too leaves a legacy of righteousness – by exemplary character and spiritual integrity – with little concern that you be like him, but with a holy passion that you be more like Jesus. “You are God’s children . .try to be like Him.” Ephesians 5:1 TEV. I am a better man, husband, father, and pastor through the influence of his friendship.

Today’s verse, “He did what was right,” was written about Josiah, King of Judah, who reigned for thirty-one years beginning at the age of eight. His father, Amon, and grandfather, Manasseh, were notorious. Their record was despicable not enviable, a legacy of idolatry and evil, committing wrongs against men and sins against God.

But Josiah chose a different path, a path in which he did what was right. “He walked in all the ways of David.” 2 Kings 22:2. Josiah chose King David as his example to follow instead of his parentage. You do not choose your history; however, you must choose the example you’ll follow for your destiny. Don’t follow anyone or anything one step that leads you even slightly or briefly away from God. Josiah found and followed God’s Word. Read 2 Kings 22:8-23:25. That’s the secret!

It’s always a choice, your choice – to do right, that pleases God and inspires others, or wrong that dishonors Him and misleads others. You choose the path you take; you have a voice in your life; you have a choice in your destiny. Right is not always the popular way, nor least costly, but doing what is right is always the best way. The legacy you will leave should be more righteous, not less, than you were given.

My prayer for you is: at every opportunity, choose what is right and pleasing to God.