After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 1 Timothy 6:7 NLT
If all I leave is stuff, I’ve left nothing.
If I were paid for all of my writing and editing, I could quit my day job, make my own schedule, and possibly retire early. But I’m not—and I can’t. Five days a week, I rise at 4:45 in the morning and write a devotion. Six days a week, I post one on my website and social media platforms. For all of this work, I receive no remuneration.
Once a week, I send a devotion or article to a publication, hoping the editor will accept it. Some of these places pay, and some don’t. Once a month, I send devotions and articles to websites and newspapers for which I receive no pay.
Six days a week, I edit and post devotions to a website for which I serve as Managing Editor. My pay? Many thank-yous from the Executive Editor and other writers. Although my devotions appear on the site, I spend more of my time promoting and editing the work of other writers.
I sometimes wonder why I spend so many hours doing what I see little or no pay for. The answer is because I want to leave more behind than stuff. Stuff that will erode and corrode. Stuff that my children will probably sell soon after I take my last breath.
Paul reminded Timothy that people come into this world with nothing—and leave the same way. The only things that last are those things we’ve stored in heaven.
Paul’s warning has to do with focus, which determines priorities. When I make accumulating more stuff my priority, my focus will turn from others to the stuff. But the trouble is stuff is tangible. I can use it to help others, or I can merely accumulate it and enjoy it myself. If I do the latter, I’ll eventually either tire of my play toys or they will corrode. That’s what stuff does.
Nothing lasts forever except my relationship with Christ, the example I leave behind for others—that I loved and helped others—and the things I do that have a lasting nature—such as my writing. Long after I’m dead and gone, God will still use what I’ve written, had published, or placed on the internet to touch others’ lives.
Think of some lasting stuff you can leave to your family, friends, and the world.
Prayer: Father, may our focus be on leaving a lasting legacy.
Tweetable: What are you leaving behind for others?