By Pastor Royston Smith

“True goodness is when you understand the wickedness within you yet choose to do what is right in spite of its compulsion.”

Charbel M. Tadros 

Eulogies are one of the major highlights at a funeral. Sometimes they are informative, other times insightful or even hilarious. In the main they summarise the life and times of the deceased. Memorable moments, admirable achievements, mishaps, mischievous acts, heroic deeds form the backbone of any eulogy. They create a lasting imprint of the deceased in our memories. Often, friends and families use eulogies to redefine a reputation while claiming amnesia regarding any fault or failure. Though labelled untrustworthy in life, somehow lying in a box renders the compliment; faithful. Tricksters are praised for their ingenuity, while bitter people are honoured for their forgiving attitude.  Funerals have a twisted way of defining goodness.  

 On the contrary, the Apostle Paul deemed goodness an attribute for the living, see Galatians 5:22-23. If our motive for being good is born out of selfish desire, then it is not goodness. Jonathan Dobson points out that, “When goodness becomes who we are, not just what we occasionally do, we become virtuous. It is like a spiritual image of God that is stamped into your DNA and of such never disappears. No matter how far down you go, goodness still shows up.”   

 Stories about Jesus centre on His acts of goodness despite the way he was treated. Acts 10:38, “Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.” He was happy to heal the hands of those who stoned him and opened the voices of those who cursed and spat at him. Even during his arrest, without hesitation or prompting, he extended healing to a soldier whose ear had been chopped off. By his death on the cross, Jesus offered us the gift of eternal life and restoration to God’s image. Subsequently, in John 10: 11 Jesus is referred to as the, “The Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.” 

As we follow the Saviour’s example, we will be blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit and thereby enabled to display the fruit of goodness with those we meet each day. Although our acts of goodness may not be recognized by human accolades and medals, God takes note, and His reward is sure. Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” Let there be no contradiction in your eulogy; leave behind a legacy of goodness. 

Share a bit of goodness wherever you go. In your relationships with others interact in a selfless manner.  Your daily actions should put a smile on someone’s face and lead them to reflect on God’s blessings. Find ways to show support and empathy.  Provide a listening ear to someone in distress. Use every opportunity to be a blessing, expecting nothing in return. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” Matthew 5:16. 

Dear Heavenly Father, there is none good but you. Please create in me the desire to be a blessing to someone today, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.