Why I Won’t Preach Your Funeral


“Well that’s a little presumptuous,” you may think as you read today’s title. “Who asked you to preach my funeral anyway?!” Touché, my friend.

I want to begin by noting that it is an honor to be asked to “preach” someone’s funeral (eulogize). I recognize those opportunities as tender moments for a grieving family in which I have the honor of sharing God’s comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-7), and discussing fond memories. Though that is the case, my statement above still holds true.

[highlight]I won’t preach your funeral because you are already preaching it yourself.[/highlight] In the way you live and in how you love, you are writing your own eulogy.

Some people view this kind of thinking as morbid. I don’t have a problem thinking about death. The truth is, we all have an appointment with death (Heb. 9:27). The only thing that could interrupt that appointment would be when Christ comes on the judgment day (1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). Even still, there will be a change from the physical to the spiritual; there will be a transition from time to eternity.

This week I was privileged to have a part in a godly woman’s funeral. We celebrated her life and were challenged by her stellar example. She had already preached her funeral. All I had to do was report the facts. As I prepared my remarks for that service, I read through 2 Peter 1:5-8, the “Christian graces.” It struck me as I read them that this dear sister exemplified each quality that Peter lists.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:5-8).[/box]

On Tuesday, as I stood before the family and friends who gathered to honor her memory, I mentioned that this sister in Christ was a true picture of Christianity. I also mentioned that she would not have wanted me to say that about her. Instead, her sentiments would echo the apostle Paul’s: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

So what about you? What legacy will you leave to your family and friends? What are you doing now that will make people want to be better in the future?

I don’t know who will preach your funeral. Maybe you don’t know, either. Here’s what I do know. After you die, someone is going to remember you for who you were. What will they preach or recall about you? Are you providing them with good material?

As a closing thought, I want to emphasize that we don’t live to be men pleasers. The fact is: people will remember you for something. But even more important than that is what you’ll have to say for yourself before the judgment bar.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).[/box]

Thanks for reading.