The Legacy of Influence

August 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

John Wooden, considered by many the greatest coach of any kind who ever lived, recently died at age 99. Wooden took a losing UCLA basketball team and turned it into the greatest powerhouse in the history of the NCAA, with an untouchable 10 national championships, 88-game winning streak and many other records.Yet his greatest influence was off the court, especially after he retired. He was a life coach.

His achievements rose from who he was, and people increasingly wanted to learn. His influence had everything to do with character. A Christian man, he inspired countless people by who he was as a person and by the “Pyramid of Success” he designed, which outlined that character for others to learn and adopt.

In this jaded age of self-gratification and celebrity, Wooden exemplified godly virtues of integrity and selflessness. To most people’s surprise, the world watched and listened, compelled by the man’s unmatchable success.

I never met John Wooden. And many who commemorated his death and legacy never met him either. But we all learned from him and are better people because of him. In one way or another, Wooden’s life offers an example anyone can follow. We can all positively influence others, and we can all leave a legacy.

Think about this: our greatest influence may have nothing to do with our achievements or with our professions. It will always have to do with who we are.

Even from a young age, those of us who positively influence others each day, and after death leave a legacy, do so because we make positive choices in how we live our lives. These things don’t happen by accident. They are deliberate, usually found in details, and happen every day.

How will you influence those around you?

What legacy will you leave?

PRAYER: Lord, lead me to think, act, and influence beyond myself. May who I am be conformed to You, and may I influence others to do the same.

“Do not let truth and mercy leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and good understanding, in the sight of God and people” (Proverbs 3:3–4, NET).

Today’s devotion is by Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power. A rising new voice on connecting with God, he is a pastor, Bible college teacher and conference speaker. Visit him at for his inspirational “Connections” and free downloads of articles, parables, short stories and book chapters.

About Peter Lundell

Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power and other books, is a writer, pastor, and Bible college teacher. At you can see his books, subscribe to his inspirational “Connections,” and get free downloads of many articles, parables, and short stories.

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