My heart is full from attending the funeral of a faithful woman. Her life wasn’t spectacular. She wasn’t known widely outside her church, neighbors, and friends. But she loved Jesus, her seven children, and her twenty-five grandchildren. She laughed easily, served generously, and could hit a softball a long way.
Ecclesiastes says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting” (7:2). “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning” because there we learn what matters most (7:4). New York Times columnist David Brooks says there are two kinds of virtues: those that look good on a résumé and those you want said at your funeral. Sometimes these overlap, though often they seem to compete. When in doubt, always choose the eulogy virtues.
The woman in the casket didn’t have a résumé, but her children testified that “she rocked Proverbs 31” and its description of a godly woman. She inspired them to love Jesus and care for others. As Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1), so they challenged us to imitate their mother’s life as she imitated Jesus.
What will be said at your funeral? What do you want said? It’s not too late to develop eulogy virtues. Rest in Jesus. His salvation frees us to live for what matters most.
Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?
Solomon said some pretty odd, outlandish, and morbid things in Ecclesiastes 7: One’s death is better than one’s birth (v. 1). Attend funerals not parties (v. 2). It’s wise to think a lot about death (v. 4). In many cultures, it’s deemed unacceptable to talk or even think about death when you’re still living. However, since everyone dies, Solomon advises us to live life with our demise in mind (v. 2), pondering over life’s brevity instead of pursuing festivity or levity, “for sadness has a refining influence on us” (v. 3