In this day and time, we have control over so many aspects of our identity: we choose what status updates we want to make online, we select (and edit) the photos we want to share with the world, and we actively construct the persona we want to portray on our social media platforms. But we have to keep in mind that while we can create our own highlight reels, we don’t get to write our own obituaries. Ultimately, we can’t control the way other people remember us.
If Thomas and Judas lived in today’s world, I highly doubt they would have posted on their social media accounts about doubting or betraying Jesus. Their lives were full of both good deeds and bad deeds, yet they each had one defining moment that they are remembered by, for better or for worse. Thomas went on to preach the gospel, baptizing and bringing many to faith, but he is still remembered as “doubting Thomas”.
The concept of control is an illusion and we have to remember that the story isn’t even supposed to be about us. Psalm 78:4 says, “We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders.” Instead of focusing on how we are representing ourselves, we need to focus on how we’re representing Jesus. God’s truth is the eternal legacy we are meant to leave behind. It is the only one that can truly outlive us.
In the beginning, O Lord, You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain. – Hebrews 1:10-11
We can also rest assured that while man may remember our doubts and betrayals, God has promised that He will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). Instead, He will see the righteousness of His Son covering us. When we leave this earth, the only legacy that matters is the one given to us by Jesus.