Those of us old enough to remember stirrup pants and cassette tapes got a stunning reminder of mortality this weekend.
The untimely death of pop star Whitney Houston jolted the collective pop culture into a sobering realization—lives of the so-called “rich and famous” may not be so fulfilling after all.
Sadly, she has now joined the list of “larger than life” performers—like Michael Jackson and Elvis—who became even larger in death.
As the tabloids exploit her final days and years, we can expect to hear tawdry tales of drugs, dependency and perhaps, despondency. Old allegations of abuse will likely resurface too, along with accolades about how she shaped the lives of millions with her powerful voice.
She left a mark, yes. And her death undoubtedly leaves a hole in the hearts of her loved ones who will miss her dearly.
But does her legacy have eternal consequences?
As parents, grandparents, or those involved in the lives of today’s youth, we do leave a mark—whether for good or for ill.
With God’s help, we can live our lives so that Christ’s light shines through us (Matt 5:16). We can heed Scripture and keep God’s Word on our lips as we interact daily with our children (Deut. 6: 6-9).
And will that leave an eternal inheritance?
Yes, but with some limits if based solely on our actions as sinful beings. We can say the wrong words, make the wrong choices. Our words can ring hollow to our children and be forgotten, just like the lyrics masterfully sung by Houston.
But we have a powerful tool to truly shape the lives of young people today…one mightier than the words or actions of so-called role models.
It’s God’s Word.
Our influence over the lives of our youth is truly limitless if steeped in God’s Word, as He reminds us through the Prophet Isaiah. When unleashed, God’s Holy Word has no boundary: “It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
So as you hear the commentators wax eloquently about the legacy of Whitney Houston, pause and consider your own legacy…and whether you keep God’s Word as your lyrics for life now, and for eternity.