“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” – Acts 9:36-42 (NIV)
What will your legacy be and what will be the impact on others when you are gone?
One of the great testimonies of legacy is found in today’s scripture passage about Tabitha (also called Dorcas). We don’t know if she had a lot of money, was a snazzy dresser, or was good looking, but we do know what people talked about after she was gone (at least the first time).
- She was a disciple – We know that Jesus’ definition of a disciple was given in Luke as someone who puts their love for Christ above family and even their own desires (Luke 14:25-33).
- She was known for doing good – There is a person that when you see them coming makes you cringe, and then there is the person that when you see them coming makes you wonderfully expectant of the positive. Guess which one Tabitha was?
- She was known for helping the poor – Mother Theresa was also known for helping the poor. She once said, “I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”
- She used her talents as a seamstress for the Lord until the day she died – Whether she sold her robes and clothes to give the money to the poor, or she actually gave these clothes to the poor, Tabitha was still serving the Lord till the end. There was a room full of clothes that were waiting to be given away.
People were crying at Tabitha’s death not so much for what they were losing (it seems) but for what the world was losing. People like Tabitha are few and far between, and when they are gone, people know that the world will miss them.
What folks will say about us someday depends on what we are and what we are choosing to do today! Are you a disciple today? Are you someone that makes people think and expect something good through your words and actions today? Are you doing your part to positively impact the poor, afflicted, or disenfranchised today? Are your talents benefitting the Lord and others today?
Talk to the Lord today about these things, and other areas where you need to change the way you are living today, and by doing so change what you will be remembered for.