Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How will our story read?

Last year I attended a memorial service for the wife of a friend. Since I didn’t know her very well, I paid close attention to what people said about her. In all, probably a dozen people took the ‘mic’ and shared how her life impacted them. I had met her once and knew her to be a Christian, but, surprisingly, no one spoke about the impact of her spiritual life. I hope it was just an awful omission. But it did make me think: ‘what would people say about me?’ And would some tell a different story than others?

If “it is no longer I who live, but Christ is living in me” (Gal. 2:20), then shouldn’t my life story be more about Jesus than me, about how His life impacted others through me? If I am being conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29), shouldn’t my character be indistinguishable from His?

As if eulogizing the Corinthians, Paul said “you are living letters… written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor. 3:2). When I wrote my father’s eulogy last year, I chose to focus on the impact of his spiritual life on his family and friends. To me, that’s the ‘real’ story.

Again, I must ask myself ‘how will my story read?’ One thing for sure is that I want my family and friends to tell the ‘same’ story—that is, I hate to think that I made a positive impact with some and a negative one with others. Thank God, I’m not finished yet. There is still time to write my story.


  1. Greg,

    It was pointed out to me that Abraham's wife, Sarah, was known by different things in heaven than what the record was for her on earth.

    In the Genesis account of her life, she gained notoriety for 1) mocking God's promise to she and her husband by laughing at the divine messenger's announcement. Then, when confronted, she lied and denied that she indeed laughed, and it was only after she had been pressed by both the angelic representatives of God as well as her husband that she admitted her doubts.

    If I recall accurately, mocking God and lying to God were not things you wanted to be remembered by--either on earth or in heaven. "God is not mocked..." and the lives and deaths of Ananias and his wife Sapphira are cases in point.

    But when one turns to Sarah's permanent record in heaven as seen in Hebrews chapter 11 we only read that she "...received strength to conceive seed...!" The earthly record of her failures is expunged, and she will only be remembered for all eternity as a woman of faith.

    God, in His great wisdom and mercy, has provided for us to look forward to the same! And I'm okay with that.


  2. Yes, it's the last chapter that matters!