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The difference between a good and a great man

Posted: July 15, 2011 - 4:27pm

I recently attended the funeral of a longstanding member of our church. The man was honored for his leadership and integrity at home and in the workplace, his charitable endeavors in the community, and his endless service to his church--It’s a huge understatement to say this man will be missed.

Listening to friends and family share stories and compliments about this man’s life was a sobering reminder that there will be a day that the people I am close to will do the same. I found myself asking, “How do I want to be remembered and what am I doing right now that will lead to that conclusion?”

Psalm 112 tells us, “Those who are righteous will be long remembered. 7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. 8 They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. 9 They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor.”

This scripture could have been read as the eulogy for this man and would have made perfect sense. While you rarely hear people talk about character flaws at funerals, unless you’re the kind of family invited on the Jerry Springer show, it was clear these were not just kind words — they were true.

I believe there is one key difference between a good man and a great man: intentionality. A good man could go throughout life without much effort and raise some good kids, help some friends out, and give to some charities and be remembered as such. But, if I want to be like the man in Psalms 112, or like the man at the funeral, I need to live my life with intentionality.

It’s far too easy for me to tell my kids that I am tired and need a rest after dinner than to be their human punching bag or jump on the trampoline with them. It’s easier to just trust that my wife knows I love her than to show her. It’s easier to watch people flounder than to reach out and help someone. But, I want to leave an impact in peoples’ lives that goes beyond my own.

A life that inspires others to love Jesus and care about the things he cares about — life that inspires others to strive for more. But, this takes extra effort. It takes intentionality.

So, how do you want to be remembered? And what are you doing now to be remembered as such? There’s no time like the present to get started and it’s never too late!

Nick Higgins is the Worship & Student Pastor at Kenai New Life Assembly located on the Kenai Spur Highway with services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

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