We hardly knew him but heard he was into some evil stuff.
He was found dead in a hotel room five states away, apparently from a drug overdose.
He left his wife and kids several months earlier and headed for the East Coast where he squandered their money with women, drugs, and other destructive patterns. A prodigal who never came to his senses nor returned home to his family.
But his awkward funeral became a turning point in my home.
Songs played at the memorial sounded hollow and cliche. Speakers squirmed in front of his casket, struggling to squeeze out positive things to say about his life.
There were a few references to funny things he did as a teenager from an old youth pastor, and from co-workers who suggested he was a good worker.
But nothing from his family.
I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why things felt so off, until I leaned over and whispered to Amy, “It almost feels like they’re all—lying.” By stretching scarce, positive memories into something substantive. By not saying what they really wanted to say. It all just felt strangely dishonest.
And it really shook me.
I left thinking, What choices do I have to make today to avoid putting my family in that situation?
What could I do today so they attend my funeral sad because I died—not because of how I lived with them? Is my presence in their life producing life and blessing? Or bitterness and resentment? How can I use words today to make my family, my wife, feel relieved that I’m around? Do I need to apologize to anyone in my home?
What choices can we make to invest in our families’ hearts, minds, and souls today?
The good stuff: Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)
Action points: Re-read the questions above. What’s one way you’ll respond—for the sake of your future legacy?
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