rebelling against low expectations

What Will They Say At Your Funeral?


It all started at a memorial service I recently attended.

The woman whose life was being celebrated and remembered came to its conclusion sooner than most would expect. But it wasn’t the life cut seemingly too short that struck me, but the stories and testimonies people were sharing.

She was a believer in the risen Lord; however, few mentioned or noted her faith and living hope. All memories, influence, and lessons shared were centered around her love for family and deep care for other people. Her whole life was summed up in the well-known adage, “It’s not the years in a life, but the life in those years,” and that she lived those years well. 

While these are commendable and honorable qualities, I was saddened by the lack of kingdom work and labor for the Lord mentioned.

But then I was immediately sobered by this dawning thought and realization…

Who will be at my memorial service, and what will they say?

Will people remember me for my love, loyalty, and friendliness? Or will they remember how devoted and passionate I was toward God? Will my legacy be that of a life well lived, or of a life lived for God?

It wasn’t with morbidity or aghast that these thoughts sprung into my mind, but rather with a sense of self-examination of my life’s purpose. When the day comes, I don’t want people to take the microphone and wax eloquent on my personality traits, character qualities, or even heroic and great deeds.

I want people to remember and be impacted by my love for the Lord, and the life that was lived in light of that amazing love.

I want people to remember my care and concern for their eternal destination and spiritual well-being, not just how their week went. I don’t want people to only remember my steadfast love, but that through me they saw the love of the Savior. It’s not my friendliness towards the loner that I want raised up, but God’s heart of love, acceptance, and welcome towards the outcast.

It’s not the years of my life or life in those years I want future generations to know about, but the One for whom my life was lived.

This is the life I want to be remembered for living, and this is the legacy I want to leave. So now is the time for me to start living that life. With purpose. With direction. With urgency.

While this line of thought and self-reflection started over a month ago, the brevity of life has weighed even more heavily upon me with my own grandmother’s recent passage into glory. Though I know where I’m destined and long for the moment when I’ll see my Savior face to face, I can’t help but wonder what my life’s legacy will be.

Who will be at my memorial, and what will they say?

Some of you may already be preparing for eternity as the days and years speed forward. But for others, these types of thoughts aren’t even on your radar. You are new to life, the world lies open and waiting before you, and life seems endless with eternity a distant reality.

However, the truth is that life is a mere moment. Scripture tells us that it passes and fades like the grass of the field. It’s a mere breath, a brief iota of time. Therefore, we need to start soberly pondering the brevity and fleetingness of life.

God has given each of us a set number of years—for some their allotment exceeds a century, others less than a decade—but we aren’t privy to the exact number. For all we know, we might already be a third, half, or three-quarters of the way through our brief moment called life. Therefore, we don’t have time to waste!

So I ask you…who will be at your memorial service, and what will they say? After you’ve left this world, who will remember your short life and be better because of it? Who will be pointed to the Savior by how you live and prioritize the things and people in your life?

As believers in the name of the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ, we will spend eternity with the Creator of the universe, but until then, what kind of impact do we want to have on His kingdom?

What impact will I have? What impact will you have?

As the widely known and used maxim states, “It’s not the years in a life, but the life in those years.” 

So how are you going to live yours?

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” – Ephesians 4:1

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd

Editor’s note: this is the second post in Kristin’s Brevity of Life series, which you can find on her blog here.

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About the author

Kristin Renfer

(21) has a passion for God’s Word and encouraging other believers to deepen their walk with God. You can read more of her writing on her devotional blog/website So I Fix My Eyes… Kristin also enjoys cooking, blessing others with music, and drawing believers before God’s throne through worship.


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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →