Living out your Legacy - Ann & Keith Barrington-Pace
…to multiply and reach families we may never meet, is a blessing to us…
Legacy means many things to many people, and it’s not a word we thought about much before we made LIFE our church home. In fact, I thought that Legacy was a wonderful idea that our church used to label its giving within the community and we were happy to pray about it and ask God for guidance for the first couple of years without giving any in depth thought to what Legacy really means.
Coming from the UK, legacy for many families was ensuring your children receive their inheritance or birthright when you have departed from this world. To that effect, before we left the UK over 8 years ago, we wrote our wills leaving all our possessions to the children; they were to be divided equally, without consideration to any biblical teaching on legacy.
Legacy is also more than finances; it’s living and sharing with our family and friends the love and hope of God. We have all heard of someone who has left a legacy. Sir Edmund Hillary has left the legacy of the historic feat of climbing the highest mountain in the world in 1953, with his climbing partner Tenzing, and from this many aspire to also climb Mount Everest.
It was only when Ps Paul did a Sunday series, ‘God, Money & Me’, that we realised we had not been doing things God’s way in regard to legacy. Even then, although discussing it together, we still did not grasp the biblical implications until we read the book, ‘God, Money & Me’ by Ps Paul. We were so excited when we had the revelation and wanted to share this, so we did an in-depth study with our Connect Group, unpacking it chapter by chapter. Journeying with people within our Group, as they also had the realisation and revelation, was exhilarating and we all felt we had been freed from financial chains that had held so many of us for years.
The revelation that there was much more to legacy than only giving financially to our children - and missing out the grandchildren - was just a start to a journey. Over the next six months we would re-evaluate our finances, and how we should now be living, using biblical financial principles. ‘God, Money & Me’ does not just cover what we do with our finances when we die, but it teaches us how to live our daily lives and use our finances, which God blesses us with, in a wise and biblical manner.
Through the six-month journey, we worked hard to pay outstanding finances on our cars, credit card and house loan. God never intended us to be slaves to debt which can stop us living a full life with God and receiving the fullness of what he has for us. This book had such an impact on us we sent copies to our children who are also working on their legacy for their grandchildren, and working on the principles of ‘God, Money & Me.’
We are now living debt free, with only a mortgage, which we are working on over the next 8 years to clear. We are in the process of changing our wills so that our grandchildren receive our financial legacy so that they can live debt free and be taught by us, and their parents, the Godly value of money and not to be ruled by it.
As Ps Paul states in his book: “when we begin to realise that our decisions today are going to determine the platform of our children’s children, the long-term impact of our obedience is highly significant.”
Our legacy is not limited to our family. We are partners in God’s house, to use our finances to leave a legacy to impact and change the community we are part of. To know that God uses what we have, to multiply and reach families we may never meet, is a blessing to us.
Ann & Keith Barrington-Pace