Building a Legacy
By Sukanya Kumar-Sinha
Have you, like me, ever wondered what kind of an impression you make on people? Or more importantly, if you have any lasting impact on people’s lives?
Living in multi-religious India, where Christians form only 2% of the entire population, I am constantly mindful of the fact that people will probably judge my God by the way I live my life. I know that the way I conduct myself will play a big part in helping others form positive opinions of Christians in general, and even of Jesus Himself.
My aunt once offered a glass of water to an elderly couple who had been stranded on the road outside her house and were waiting for the tow truck to arrive. The husband gratefully accepted the glass of water and said, “You must be Christian.”
While driving home from work the other day, I got mad at a motorcyclist who had brushed against my car. Then I suddenly realized that as he looked at my angry face telling him off, he must have also seen the cross hanging from my rearview mirror. Did he go about the rest of his day with a good impression of the Christian woman he’d encountered? I don’t think so, and I instantly felt ashamed of my example.
As you can see, I have some room for improvement, which is why I was encouraged by the following game that my extended family recently played. We prepared cards with each of our names on them, and we all wrote encouraging things on one another’s cards. Then all the cards were gathered in a pile, so we didn’t know who had said what.
When my turn came to read what others had said about me, I was a little surprised that no one had commented on what I felt are my more visible skills, abilities, and talents. Instead my card contained points like:
“I like how you have such a good relationship with God.”
“You put Jesus first in all you do.”
Later, I realized how much these compliments meant and how precious they were, coming from the people who know me the best. These are small examples from everyday life, but in the end, these everyday attitudes and actions are often what make the greatest impression and what we will be remembered for.
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