Why You Should Think about Your Eulogy

If I die, I want certain things said in my eulogy…

(Don’t worry.  I’m not sick.  I haven’t been in an accident.  And I didn’t hock one of Troy’s guns.  Furthermore, I plan to live at least 120 years.  So as of today I have 71 years and 9 months left.  Unless the rapture takes place or God has other plans… these are mine.)

Here’s (in a nutshell) what I want my eulogy to say if I die…

She loved Troy more than life itself.

Her children were her greatest accomplishment.

She made her parents proud.

Family was important.

She loved adventure.

She wasn’t afraid of anything.  Except chickens.  She was terrified chickens.

She never gave up.

She did hard things.

She left people with more hope than she found them with.

She was an encourager.

Her smile brought joy.

She was bold in her calling.

And her life honored Christ.

Those are the highlights.  Feel free (if the time comes) to expand the thoughts.

I wish I could say all those things are true at the moment.  (The chicken fear is true for sure.  And the family stuff – all good.)  But sometimes I do give up.  Sometimes I run away from hard things.  Sometimes I don’t think to give people hope.  And, honestly… not everything I do honors Christ.  (Venting on the FedEx lady for delivering my package to the wrong address falls in this category)

But these are things I want to be true.  I want to live out the rest of my 71 years and 9 months working on these things to be true.  And should my 71 years and 9 months get cut short… I want to have covered as many things on the list as possible.

I got this idea of thinking about my eulogy (should the need arise for one) from Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s book, “Living Forward”.  In the book they talk about designing your life from the end to present.  They write…

“There is a great Hebrew scripture that says, ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’  Unless we take the time to regain our perspective and face the reality that life is short, we risk arriving at a destination we didn’t choose – or at least one we wouldn’t prefer.”

Teach us t

When I think about what I want my life to consist of, it all boils down to the last line of the eulogy.  “Her life honored Christ.”  I know if I live my life to honor Christ, everything else on that list will fall into place.  I’ll love like Christ.  I’ll be persistent like Christ.  I’ll be courageous like Christ.  I’ll encourage like Christ.  And I’ll give joy to people like Christ.

I have a deep yearning for the Apostle Paul’s words to ring true for me, too.

i fully expect and hope that I

I don’t want to fail at my life honoring Christ.  I want God to look at me on judgement day and say, “You represented me well and your life proved it.”  That’s all in the world I want.  If those are words I want to hear from the people who love me on “that day” or from God on judgement day, then it’s my choice today, tomorrow and every day after, to make it happen.  It won’t happen by chance and it won’t happen by wishing.  I have to pursue the truth I want a eulogy to proclaim.

Have you thought about what people will say about you?  Have you thought about what will sum up your life?  Will your life be summed up with the words “She honored Christ.”?  The good thing is… that day is not here yet and as long as we’re breathing, we have time to make sure those things are true.  (Not that they aren’t for you.  I just know I’m a work in progress.)

I know it sounds morbid to think about it – the end of our life.  But aren’t the authors right? Shouldn’t we “face the reality” and choose the destination of our lives?  Shouldn’t we take control over the words people will say when they remember – or better yet celebrate – us?

Leaving it to chance is not an option for me.  And I hope it’s not an option for you.  So what do we do?

Let’s sit down, pen and paper in hand, and think about how we want to be remembered.  Then let’s plan our lives to make it happen.  If, at the end of our lives, it can be said of us, ‘Her life honored Christ.”, then we’re sure to hear in the next life, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Make it happen, Friend.  Go make it happen.

Feature photo by: Sarah Gath

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2 thoughts on “Why You Should Think about Your Eulogy

  1. Gwen, I’m so glad I stopped by here today. You have no idea how much your words have encouraged me here. I love that version of the Philippians 1:20 verse. I’m thinking it’s the NLT?