1 Samuel 31:4-6 4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.
We all have the opportunity to leave a legacy. It is comprised of the values we esteem, the impression we leave on others, and the choices we make. It is defined by the way we lead and the way we serve. And it is wrapped up by the way we finish. While we all have our bumps along the road of life, the finish line is what really matters most. A strong finish can make you forget all the mistakes in between. But what happens when you fail to end well? How would it feel to know you have failed at leaving a worthwhile legacy to those behind you?
Such is the case with Saul. He started off so well. He was the first king that Israel ever had. Sure he made mistakes along the way, but he had the opportunity to finish out his reign and his life with dignity and pass something onto those behind him. Instead, he spent his latter years consumed with trying to hunt down David and kill him. He visited a medium to call up the spirit of Samuel because he couldn’t get God to answer him. Just really bad choices, people!
What sticks out to me the most, however, is his miserable finish. He doesn’t go down fighting valiantly defending the honor of the Lord. No, he fell on his sword and killed himself. Lame. And that was it, the end of the first king of Israel. All that I can remember about his reign was the fact that he was a miserable failure who died a cowardly death. Legacy FAIL.
There is no way I am going to follow in Saul’s footsteps. I am going to finish well. Even if I have no sword and I have to fight the enemy with my dentures – so be it! I will be marked as a man of God, full of courage. And I am going to think about the legacy I am leaving too. Because we leave one whether we try to or not. Some people might leave a legacy of alcoholism, abuse, violence, or anger. They don’t mean to, but they do. So I am going to think about what I am passing on. I am going to work at it. I am going to consciously leave a legacy every day of my life.