The memory of the righteous shall be blessed; but the name of the wicked shall rot. Proverbs 10:7
August 10th is a day that is a source of mixed emotions for me. This was the date that my mother passed away. Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of her death. The reason why it provides a contrast of emotions is because on one hand, I am sad because she is no longer here for me to talk with and enjoy her physical presence. On the other hand, I am happy because of the memories that she provided to me and the rest of my family. My mother is a primary example of the 2 ways you should leave so that you'll be remembered.
The first way to be remembered is to live a righteous life. This means serving the needs of others above your own and adopting a servant mentality. My mother was the personification of this principle and served as a role model for me. She was always making sure that the needs of others were met before she started to take care of her own. Another way to live a righteous life is to follow God's precepts and statutes. I am not talking about in a rigid, legalistic way, but in a way outlined in Psalm 19:8 which states, "The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes."
The second way to be remembered is do what you love. Doing what you love according to God's purpose and in the way that He designed you has a two fold effect. The first is that you will be operating in His will. The second is that you will be doing what Christ spoke about in Matthew 5:16 when He stated "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." My mother loved to cook and she experienced great joy in preparing meals for others to enjoy. She derived a great deal of satisfaction out of doing this. I reflect on times that she would prepare the meal and just sit back and let others eat and enjoy the meal while she smiled throughout.
Doing these 2 things will increases the possibility of being remembered after you are gone and having a positive impact on the next generation. Like the pebble that's dropped in the pond, you will have the effect of causing beautiful positive ripples that spread out in a number of directions. In the words of Cicero, "the life of the dead lies in the memory of the living." Make sure your memory is positive.
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Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.