I was recently asked to write my eulogy. No, nothing is wrong. Writing your own eulogy is an exercise that prompts focus. It allows us to envision our lives complete and accomplished, thereby giving us the ability prioritize today. Have you ever thought about your own? What would it say? What will you be remembered for?
As I think about it, I am tempted to write about all of my accomplishments. Maybe I want everyone to think of the beautiful homes that I built, my beautiful wife or the amazing kids that I raised. Today, as I listen to Paul boasting of his accomplishment’s, I am reconsidering. According to 2 Corinthians 11:22-28, Paul’s eulogy would include
- He was a Hebrew
- He was an Israelite
- He is the offspring of Abraham
- He was a hardworking servant of Christ
- For Christ, he endured prison with countless beatings, often near death
- He was whipped, stoned and beaten with rods
- He lived in danger of being robbed, everywhere he went
- He was often hungry, cold and endured sleepless nights without protection
I don’t know about you but reading that list does not fill me with warm fuzzies. Even so, it’s exactly the list that Paul is most proud of. Why? They were the periods of his greatest weakness. What Paul had figured out is that when he was at his weakest, he was at his best because he was fully reliant on Christ. Ironically, we are taught to avoid our weaknesses. Instead of weaknesses we are taught to find our strengths. Once we do, we are told to exploit them. Paul warns us against such philosophies in verse 3. He says, “I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.” (NLT). He continues to explain that our adoption of such success strategies are really our acceptance of “different gospels.” In other words, they literally steer us away from the King and Christ, Jesus. Paul continues to explain that our adoption of these teachings will affect our eternity. Hear his words in verse 15. “It is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
If you die today, what will your eulogy say? God willing, we all have many years ahead of us. Remember, you get to choose, today and every day, whether it will be an account of your worldly accomplishments or your ridiculous love and dangerous witness.