Summary: When you die, will you b e remembered for the good you did, or for the time wasted

Proverbs 22:1

Ben just came to town as a new rabbi. Unfortunately, his first official duty was to conduct a funeral service for Albert, a man who died in his eighties, with few relatives. Since Ben didn't know the deceased personally, he paused from his sermon to ask if anyone in the congregation would say something good about Albert. There was no response. Ben asked again: "Many of you have known Albert for years; surely someone can say something nice." After an uncomfortable pause, a voice from the back of the room said, "Well, his brother was worse."

That is not what we would like to hear said about us!

If you died tomorrow, what would people say about you?

Would you be proud of how you lived and the choices you made?

If someone looks back on your life years from now, what will they remember about you?

None of us will probably have our names in future history books; what will likely happen is that we will be remembered by those whose lives we've touched.

There's an old saying,

"If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you'd like people to say about you after you die ... and live backward."

The idea is that we earn our eulogy by our everyday actions.

What would you do if told you had ten years to live? Would it change your life? Of course, it would. But what would you do with those ten years? Would you:

Go wild, lose control, and do anything you want without conscience?

Sulk and have a big pity party?

Sit around feeling sorry for yourself in depression?

Drink and eat more than is reasonable?

We are a product of what we have already been and done in our lifetime. If we did little with our life, we would probably do more of the same - only intensified. We would likely continue the same habits; if we lived a life of substance; we would work at being the best we could be.

We would smell the roses, waste less time on things that have no meaning, value our friendships more, and work harder at things that count and have meaning in our lives.

Our love for those vital to our lives would grow even more. We would start seeing more positivity and less negativity in this world.

We would care more about those in need and help those we can. We would not want to waste a single day and appreciate each day for what it is - a miracle. Would we stop learning and growing as a person? I don't think so. We will continue to do the same as we are now, but only with the awareness that time is short.

One area that does seem to change for people in this situation is their spiritual life. Most of us don't want to give much thought to the dreaded 'life after death.' If told the end is near, we will naturally think about it. Gaining a sense of oneness with our Creator certainly is a comfort. Maybe it's the most important thing anyone can do in this situation [or any situation]. There is no lasting peace and comfort with money, achievements, titles, hobbies, or endless TV.

In his book, When Everything You Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, Harold Kushner writes:

"Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter so the world will be at least a little different for our having passed through it."

So what would you do?

Live to be remembered for the important things.

Live to be remembered for giving up your rights and your possessions for the benefit of others.

Live for acts of kindness that lighten the load of hurting and weary people.

'At the end of the day, people won't remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.'

There's a lot of truth in the paraphrased quote from Maya Angelou. You can probably remember your childhood, neighbors, classmates, or teachers who made you feel good, and others who did not feel great.

But the focus today is not on others; it's on you. How are you making other people feel as you navigate your daily life? Do you cause those you encounter to feel better about themselves and the world around them? Or are you giving off a vibe that is, at best, neutral or even a little negative?

People want to be remembered for different reasons:

Some people wish to leave a lasting legacy.

Others may want to know how they make others feel and how those around them treat them.

Others want to be remembered for being selfless, caring, compassionate, kind, loving, patient, and understanding.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion