Becoming a Legend or Building a Legacy?

We live in a world fascinated with followers, likes, and platform. In this age where many women are striving to build a brand, it is easy for a Redeemed Girl to lose her focus on what is truly valuable in God’s eyes and what matters for eternity. My friend Kitty Hurdle has served with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for the past 15 years, discipling women and leading sorority women to Christ. I’ve served with Kitty on many occasions and I know she is a woman who believes the highest calling in life is to obey Jesus’ words to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” It is my joy to welcome Kitty to the Redeemed Girl blog today as she discusses the difference between a woman who strives to be a legend and one who builds a legacy for Jesus. — Marian Jordan Ellis


This spring, after close to 15 years of investing in college students, I realized that a few of my beauty habits were no longer on point. My age spots no longer look like cute freckles and my eyes look tired when I wake up even though my kids are sleeping through the night. So, as one does, I started following a few beauty bloggers on Instagram.

Now what you need to know, is that at 36, you don’t wake up, spray the dry shampoo into your hair, throw on a t-shirt and vented Lululemon pants and look cute. My college students do this and look amazing. I do that and look homeless. But, what I’ve learned is the key to middle aged success is a good concealer. Also, cellulite cream, tylenol and a minivan, but we don’t have a lot of time here, so we are going to focus on the concealer. I kept hearing the fashion and beauty Instagrammers talk about this concealer called “Shape Tape”. Shape Tape this, Shape Tape that.

So, I decide to drive to my local cosmetic store in search of this magical unicorn cream or maybe something even better. I walked in and headed straight to the manager and cut to the chase. I said, “I need the best concealer you’ve got in this store.” She walks me over to the bourgeoisie side and introduced me to a makeup artist who assured me he had logged more hours of Youtube beauty tutorials than I had so I trusted him fully with my face.

He looked at me, made a few noises that seemed half sad for me and half like he was ready to go to battle and said, “Momma, I have two words for you. SHAPE TAPE.”  I chuckled and gave him a thumbs up. Light Neutral Shape Tape applied with a *damp* sponge for the win! I am here to tell you it legitimately works and I think I’ve doubled his sales record because I can’t stop talking about it.

Why do I tell you this (and half my town) this story? Because…LOVERS TELL!

What we love, we talk about. When we have been rescued by Jesus and fall head over heels in love with Him, we can’t wait to tell others about Him. What we wrap our hearts around is what gets woven into the fabric of our lives. And ya’ll, we have One who left Heaven and became one of us and took a death that we deserved.

Jesus loved us first, while we were still sinners.

Jesus lived for us, died for us, and was raised for us …so we could be free.

What is this life and freedom we have in Jesus intended for? So that we can be comfortable or blend in with normal Christian culture? I don’t think so. I think God has a bigger plan in mind when He rescued us. He wants our lives to leave a legacy for His glory.

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if the person who shared Jesus with you had hesitated because they didn’t want to make things awkward? What if no one cared enough about you to tell you about the beautiful freedom found in Jesus? What person, experience or means did God use to introduce you to Jesus? I can’t imagine life apart from the faithful Sunday School teachers, strong mother and father, and the Bible study leader who chased me all through college reminding me that Jesus had better for me than the things I was looking to for life.

What if these people had cared more about making a name for themselves than how they could love and influence us? What if they worked to be a legend rather than to leave a legacy?

The message of Jesus came to you and it’s on it’s way to someone else as it has been for generations. The world needs lovers who will tell.  There are certain people that YOU were created to love and care for and to minister to. The world needs all Christians on the field using their skills and passions and gifts. No one sitting on the bench injured by sin.

God is calling courageous, committed women who will leave a legacy for Christ in their spheres of influence. On their campuses, in their careers, in their carpool lines and in their communities. But here’s the deal. Our culture and our hearts and dare I say, Satan Himself wants us to work to be a legend and not a legacy.

What’s the difference between a legend and a legacy? Well, I’ve spent a lot of my time wavering between these two camps, so let me paint a picture for you. See what you think.

Legends gain followers for themselves. People miss a legend when they are gone. If you’re a legend, it’s easy for people to remember how great you are because in your absence, things just aren’t as good anymore. Why? Because the best part about their experience with you was you and you took that with you.

If you’re wanting to be a legend, you order life by you priorities and goals and see yourself at the center of your universe and life plans.

A legend lets her life be a witness because she’d rather not ruffle feathers.

A legend views her home, work and social life as a source of friendship and fun; often looks for “ministry” elsewhere outside her normal life.

A legend is usually well-liked by everyone and has a difficult time making an unpopular stand that will bring criticism.

A legend cares more about what people think of her and bolstering her social status than how she can help lift others up.

A legend sometimes often goes to a lot of Christian events but is not equipped for ministry.

A legend has a lifestyle that is often no different from the non-Christian world.

Being a legend strokes the ego, but it doesn’t serve the next generation.

Leaving a legacy, however, is about building God’s Kingdom and not our own. It’s the art of multiplying your life and not gathering followers. Leaving a legacy is about creating something that will last far beyond your time on earth.

A legacy initiates sharing the Gospel regardless of the consequences. She views where she lives, works and plays as a place for ministry. She is usually well-respected but often gets feedback. She wants to pour her life into several other women around her and then challenge them to do the same. She views discipleship and spiritual multiplication as successful. She will put her self in uncomfortable places for the sake of ministering to others. She is well-trained for personal ministry. Her life is usually characterized by “there’s something different about her.”

When you leave a legacy, your life becomes so much less about you and more about the people you are giving your life away to and those who are serving alongside of you.

Most importantly, when you leave a legacy, it’s possible that you might leave quietly and only a handful of people will even notice but countless lives will be profoundly affected.

Think about where you live. Your dorm, apartment complex, house or neighborhood. Think about where you work. Your classmates, coworkers, those dear children you are raising. Now think about where you play. Your social affiliations, friend groups, campus organizations and churches. What spheres of influence do you engage with daily that would be different if you were to operate from the mindset of legacy instead of legend?

Your legacy is the very fiber of you as a person and your legacy is passed from generation to generation to generations yet to be born. The difference between being a legend and leaving a legacy is the difference between investing your life for the glory of God and the good of others versus spending your life on comforts and pleasures of this world.

Are you courageously committed to building into others and leaving a legacy?  Are you willing to ask God to help you reject the cultural norm of being a legend? Are you willing to stop assuming someone else will do it and are you willing to step out in faith to lead? Who is willing to leave a legacy?


Kitty Hurdle

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