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An inner city church had an annual student recognition day. Normally, students would share about their educational experiences and then the pastor would get up and offer a few closing words. One year, the pastor’s words were a bit alarming. He stood up in front of all the young graduates and proud parents and said, "Children, you’re going to die! You may not think you’re going to die, but you’re going to die! One of these days they’re going to take you out to the cemetery, drop you in a hole, throw some dirt on your face, and go back to the church to eat potato salad …

When you were born, you alone were crying, and everybody else was happy. The important question I want to ask is this: When you die are you alone going to be happy, leaving everybody else crying? The answer depends on whether you live to get titles or testimonies. Will they list your degrees and awards, or will they tell about what you meant to their lives? Will you leave behind a newspaper column telling people how important you were, or will you leave behind crying people who give their testimonies about how they’ve lost the best friend they ever had? Will they talk about all the boards you sat on and things you owned, or will they talk about all the money you gave away that made a difference in this world?

"There’s nothing wrong with titles. Titles are good things to have. But if it ever comes down to a choice between a title or a testimony, go for the testimony …"

"Pharaoh may have had the title, but Moses had the testimony!

Nebuchadnezzar may have had the title, but Daniel had the testimony!

Queen Jezebel may have had the title, but Elijah had the testimony!

Pilate may have had the title, but my Jesus had the testimony!

And then he asked a single question: "What will it be for your life?"


James Emery White, You Can Experience a Purposeful Life, 86-88

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