What would your obituary say if you were to die today? What would your legacy be? Would people remember your passion for Christ, your love for others, your heart for the outcasts? Or, would they remember your negative attitude, your short temper, your sharp tongue? What would your family say about you? Your friends? Your teachers?
These questions are ones I have often posed over the past few years to the teenage girls I have taught in my local church. I am convinced the reason many students (and adults, for that matter!) do not live consistently for Christ is that they do not think about the eternal impact their life can have, and they do not think a single life can make much of a difference anyway. For close to fifteen years, I have watched students start their high school years so strong for Christ only to finish poorly, many even dropping out of church before they graduate high school. It breaks my heart as I watch my girls that once had a burning passion to impact their school for Christ get sidelined because worldly things took their focus off of the Lord. I remember one girl in particular that I led to the Lord when she was a freshman, had in Sunday school, and met with in a small discipleship group. She regularly brought lost friends to church. However, she started dating a boy her senior year who wasn’t a Christian, and that one decision to date a non-Christian took her down a disastrous path. She stopped talking about her faith and attending church because she didn’t want to alienate her new boyfriend.
So, a few years ago, I started having my students write their own obituaries at the end of their freshman year in high school so they would think about how important the choices are that they make on a daily basis. Then, I spent time with them walking through some famous “obituaries” found in Hebrews 11. These testimonies left behind in Hebrews help believers today realize that the legacies of their lives can last generations. In this day, we need more Hebrews 11 type of Christians. The point is not that our names would be known but that we would live in such a way that Christ’s name is known because of our lives. Like Joe Paterno, coach for Penn State, once said, “We need people who influence their peers and who cannot be detoured from their convictions by people who do not have the courage to have any convictions.”read more