The Memory of the Righteous

 Memory can  be a wonderful blessing.  It can bring smiles, laughs, or even tears of joy as we look at pictures, share stories, or just think about the good times of by gone days.  One writer said, “Memory is the way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”

        Today  is Memorial Day.  It is a day to remember.  To reflect. To be reminded.  It is a national holiday to honor those who have given their lives in war.  There is no clear record when or where this holiday began.  Over two dozen cities and towns lay claim to the birth place of memorial day.  There is evidence that women’s groups in the South began decorating the graves of Confederate Soldiers before the end of the Civil War.

     Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and first observed May 30, 1868.  For many years it was known as “Decoration Day.”  In 1971 Congress changed the official celebration to the last Monday in May.  It has become in time not only to honor those killed in war, but to remember all of our loved ones who have died.

          Such memorials are valuable in providing an important link to the past.  The final stop Norma Jean and I made before we left Tampa last week was at Sunset Memory Gardens where my Mom and Dad are buried. As I placed new flowers on their grave site precious memories flooded my soul.  Those few minutes we spent reminiscing invoked emotions of honor, respect and appreciation. 

          One of the great blessings of life is fondly reflecting on the lives of those who have gone on to their reward.  The wise man wrote, “The memory of the righteous is a blessing” (Prov. 10:7, ESV).  The Psalmist expressed it this way:  “A good man deals graciously and lends;  He will guide his affairs with discretion.  Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance” (Ps 112:5-6, NKJV) 

          I was reminded of this truth (again) in a very personal way during my Mother’s passing.  Our family and friends shared stories, and remembered the many good things from Mom’s life that touched us in some way.  Indeed it is a blessing to reflect on the life of one who has lived it  well.  Lived it righteously.  Lived it for the Lord. 

          However, the sad reality is that some people do not leave the legacy of a righteous life.  The memory is not a blessed one.  The second half of Proverbs 10:7 says in a brutally honest way “the name of the wicked will rot.”  How sad!  What a terrible memory to have. 

          The question that is posed to us, the living, is—What kind of memory will we leave?  I can do nothing about the lives of my friends and loved ones who have gone on.  The good or bad of their lives is forever sealed.  But I can do something about my life.  My decisions.  My legacy.  

          And so on this memorial day may each of us reflect on various memories that we hold dear, let us begin it with a renewed commitment to live “soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.” When it comes to the time of our departure, may we leave a rich spiritual heritage with good memories that are a blessing to  those who know us.  

—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Christian Living

7 responses to “The Memory of the Righteous

  1. Billie

    I was privliged to know Mattie while in Tampa. She was so happy, outoing and fun up to the very last of her days. I enjoyed so much the short time we had together, the two of us in Ken and Norma’s home.


  2. Linda Baughn

    Good article Ken – a wonderful tribute to your parents.

    Hhave a safe trip to KC.



  3. nelson

    Very inspiring!


  4. PLPrabhudass

    nice article


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  6. Peggy Hobbs

    Thanks so much for reposting the blog, it has so much meaning. May we all remember those who sacrificed the ultimate in war and all of our loved ones that have gone on to their reward. May you and Norma Jean have a nice Memorial Day!


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