yesterday we were meeting and Pastor Michael challenged us to write a list of things that we would want said at our funeral. his point was for us to be intentional about how we wanted to be remembered. he coupled it with these verses out of Galatians 5
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
Galatians 5:19-21 the message
we are free people, but if we live that way, we won’t have many people who speak kindly of us after we are gone.
the passage goes onto say in the next segment
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Galatians 5:22-23 the message
i find that last phrase interesting. not needing to force our way in life. the first list is about force. it’s about accumulating, using and taking. it’s how we live our lives when we are in charge, but the second list is about allowing God to live through us. it is about sharing, loving and giving.
so i wrote my list. it may change, but it gives me something to be intentional about.
1) i want my children to say that i showed and taught them how to live for Christ.
2) i want people to say that i lived with great joy.
3) i want people to remember that i was kind and generous to those who were far from God.
4) i want people to know that i loved well.
5) i want people to have valued my character over my ability.
6) i want to be remembered as a ground breaker.
what would you want people to say? what are you leaving as your legacy? selfish things that you are forcing and taking for yourself? or the way of God where He brings great gifts to others through you?