pair of brown Vans Sk8-Hi hanged on rope

Remembering you

How will you be remembered? What do I mean? I mean, when your eyes close in death, how will those you’ve known remember you? Will it be with a warm smile of joy, sparked by the way you touched their life, or a glad it’s over expression because you are no longer causing trouble?

Some might say, “That’s pretty direct”. That’s true, but it’s a question worth your earnest consideration. Why? Because we all die. Every human life ends at some point. Some day it will be your turn and mine.

Many will respond to such a question like Margaret Mitchell’s character, Scarlett O’Hara in the book and film Gone with the Wind and put it off, for “after all, tomorrow is another day”. Are you sure you want to do that?

The Bible is full of memorable characters. The Old Testament recalls the lives and events of many people who are worthy of emulation but also those who no one should ever wish to be compared. King David, despite his many sins is still the only person in the Bible to whom God refers to as “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22).

You see, David could be impetuous and lustful, as well as a murderer. He tried his best to cover up his sin, but God had observed it all and sent the prophet Nathan to confront him. When his sin was exposed, David did not respond haughtily in defiance, but rather in humility and repentance. You can read all about it 2 Samuel 11-12.

He was so deeply affected by his sin and the forgiveness shown to him by God that he penned Psalm 51. He wrote, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness…” David is thus remembered as a man like us who sinned, but unlike many, as a penitent sinner rather than a proud one. How about you?

All of Jesus’ disciples loved him, save one. His name was Judas. You remember Judas; he’s the one who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas put on a show of being a true disciple but thought he knew Jesus’ business better than Jesus did. He then demonstrated his heart’s real attitude, not by obedience, but with a traitor’s kiss. And that is how Judas is remembered.

People today get awfully concerned about how much Google and Facebook remember about them, but of far greater concern should be the way that God will remember them. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man will come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will repay each one according to what he has done” (Matthew 16:27). Being remembered is therefore not an issue–we will all be remembered–but the most important question is this: how will God will remember us?

How will God remember you? Will it be as a faithful servant in whom he delights, or will he remember you as one who lived, like Judas, a life of outward show without repentance and faith? Either way, we will be remembered. Will it be through Jesus’ blood of forgiveness or the factual findings of the righteous judge of all?

Originally appeared in the Caymanian Times.

  • Chris Pierce is an Anglican minister in Northern Ireland.

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