A legacy, good or bad, is something handed down from one person to another. Perhaps, over time, God has healed your hurts and you have moved on, but what have you left behind? The harsh words you spoke may have been based on what was happening at the time, but now you see things more clearly. It’s wonderful when you move from resenting others to forgiving them—but have you left unhealed wounds?
James writes, ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.’ (James 1:19–20 NLT) Your words can do lasting damage. Paul writes, ‘See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’ (Hebrews 12:15 NIV) Have you planted seeds that caused a root of bitterness to grow in someone’s heart? If possible, you must make amends by seeking forgiveness and trying to set the record straight with those left festering over a situation you now feel differently about. It’s humbling, but you won’t feel right towards God until you’re right with those He loves.
Jesus said, ‘If you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you … leave your gift… make peace… then come back and offer your gift to God.’ (Matthew 5:23–24 CEV)
Dr Dale Turner writes: ‘It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them… A mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows weakness of character.’