Nothing could describe the beauty of good relationships better than a funeral.
Bear with me.
Today, we mourned the loss of a dear friend I’ll call “Bob.” Bob was 64 and truly lived out his life as only he could: he loved people, especially kids, his smirk was infectious, his jokes were terrible (but we laughed anyway), he was generous to a fault, and he always saw the good in people.
As I listened to my friends describe their dad so vividly and personally, it made me think, as I’m sure you have if you’ve ever been to the funeral of a loved one. At funerals, we do what tends to be so hard for us every day: see the good and forget about the bad. This time of reflection and introspection has consumed me for the day with thoughts of my life, legacy, and eternal impact on my kids, family, and friends.
Have you been there? I don’t think we fully grasp how much we mean to the people around us. We’re designed to interact, love, and care for one another. The simple things mentioned today were not financially significant, nor were they time consuming acts of affection, they were phone calls, taking someone lunch when they hadn’t eaten, and being there when they needed to talk.
It’s not about the “stuff”; it’s about relationships. Do the people closest to you know how you feel? Do they know how much they mean to you?
As I reflect on my life, I realize that places “me” at the top of the list. A glaring take away from everyone who spoke at the funeral was the unselfishness of Bob and his love for people. Bob wasn’t perfect - neither are you or I - but wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered that way? There are many biblical references I could insert here, but nothing would edify it better than the Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Although Jesus’ words seem simple, in reality, they’re very difficult to put into action. No matter how hard we try, we all too often fall short and fail to treat others the way we know we should. Why is that? One reason is because we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we fail to see the needs of others. To put it another way, we think only of our own needs, and not the needs of those around us. We find ourselves saying with the Apostle Paul, “I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).
I’ll end with Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”