Protect your Legacy
Upon hearing of the passing of Bishop Eddie Long yesterday, the word “legacy” echoed in my head for the remainder of the day. It is a word steeped in existentialism. I mean, other than faced with our own mortality, when do we consider our legacy?
All of the articles online focused on the scandal that he faced in the last years of his life and highlighted his opulent lifestyle and subsequent senate investigation. And I became a bit sad, not that he died because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But I was saddened by how people tried to take his legacy. They tried to diminish decades of service to the Lord through serving people into notes about a scandal.
I say notes because no one but God knows the whole story. The senate investigation turned up no wrong doing and no charges were ever produced against Bishop Long or his ministry. As for the sex scandal, Bishop publically denied the charges and there was never a trial to show guilt or innocence. And settling out of court is not an admission of guilt. We know that from watching TV cop shows.
What has happened to us as human beings that we would destroy each other over accusations and half-truths? We see it every day now on Facebook and Twitter and now on national news outlets from Fox News to CNN.
David slept with Uriah’s wife, impregnated her and to cover his sin had Uriah killed. But David still today is one of the greatest men in history let alone in the Bible. His short comings didn’t destroy his legacy perhaps because people back then were more in tune with their own short comings.
Instead of judging and trashing each other, why can’t we think that if God can use so-and-so with their faults and issues then God can use me too with all my mess? My life can still have purpose through God in spite of all my short-comings. More people have come forth and told how Bishop Long’s ministry helped them immensely than accusers that have come forth.
David did not allow anyone to take his legacy away from him. The child Bathsheba bore died and David mourned but then he got up and kept serving the Lord. Don’t let anyone rob you of your legacy. And don’t try to take anyone else’s from them.
We all fall short of the glory of God. We all sin though we may all struggle in different areas. My Pastor once said that to God sin is sin. Homosexuality is no more sinful than lying or gluttony. Murdering someone with your mouth is as bad as murdering them with your hands. It is the same demonic spirit. So we cannot compare ourselves to anyone but can only try to be as much like Christ as we can. And we must rest on the fact that God is the Just Judge. I cannot attest to whether accusations against Bishop Long were true or not but I can tell you that God will handle it either way as He will for all of us.
When people try to remind you of who you used to be or what you used to do, tell them that is not and will never be your legacy. And as we travel through this world together, try to remember the good that others do over their mistakes. Because what we do for others shall be done for us.
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