At the recent Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, the 92 year old, Warren Buffet was asked by a 15 year old boy how to avoid making mistakes in business and in life.
Buffet’s response: “You should write your obituary and then try to figure out how to live up to it. It’s not that complicated.”
What an intriguing thought. What would you write?
I immediately thought of some Biblical epithets that might be a part of one’s obituary and even included on your tombstone.
Abraham: “The Friend of God” (Jas. 2:23).
David: “He served God’s purpose” (Ax. 13:36).
David: “A man’s after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14).
The forgiven woman: “She loved much” (Lk 7:47).
Barnabas: “He was a good man” (Ax. 11:24).
Enoch: “He walked with God” (Gen. 5:24)
Noah: “He was a righteous man” (Gen. 6:9).
Moses: “He Looked to the Reward” (Heb. 11:26).
The Virtuous Wife: “Far more precious than jewels” (Prov. 31:10)
Josiah: “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Chron. 34:2).
Phoebe: “She has been a Helper of Many” (Rom. 16:2).
Anna: “She served God” (Lk. 2:37)
Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21)
Women at the cross: “She followed Jesus” (Matt. 27:55).
Jesus: “He went about doing good” (Ax. 10:38).
Probably you can think of others, but you get the idea.
While Buffet’s answer no doubt was more focused on business and success in life, we know there is another kind of success that will outlast and outlive financial and professional success. Spiritual success.
Imagine using the above epitaphs as a springboard for writing your obituary? We often read obits that speak of one’s hobbies, professional achievements, or secular involvements, but nothing is said about God or their spiritual activities. How would your obituary read?
Would your obituary be focused on faith? God? Jesus? The Lord’s Church? Spiritual values? Spiritual involvement? And your heavenly reward?
When Moses died, and God gave Joshua the role of Israel’s leader, here was his divine charge:
“Be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:7-9)
Sounds like the basis for writing a God-approved and a spiritually descriptive obituary.
Buffet suggested such an exercise and its follow through is not “complicated.” Well, it may be simple to write, but not necessarily easy to execute. It takes a life time of unwavering faith. Steadfast commitment. Divine devotion. And heavenly focus.
Finally, shouldn’t we all write, like the apostle Paul, “By the grace of God, I am what I am.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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