What Will Be Said About You?

Last week, we started looking at a series of messages called, “How to Get What You Really Want” by North Point Community Church Senior Pastor Andy Stanley. (You can watch the series online and download the discussion questions. Or listen to them using your podcasts app.)

As a brief recap, “What do I want?” turns out to be a surprisingly tricky question to answer. We’ve all had the experience of getting something we thought we wanted only to discover it wasn’t what we really wanted.

A better question is, “What do I value?” because we will never get what we really want until we discover what we value.

Key points from part three – “Last Things First.”

  • In his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” author Stephen Covey encouraged readers to imagine their own funeral and consider what they would want family and friends to say about them.
  • Covey said, “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you… you will find your definition of success.”
  • If you take this exercise to heart, you’ll probably find that what you want to be said about you won’t be what you accomplished; it will be about your character, how you treated people, how you lived your life, and what you lived your life for.
  • For Christians, the question, “What do I want?” often leads to another question: “What does God really want for me?”
  • When we bring God into the equation, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking the question is, “What does God want from me?”
  • When Jesus taught his early followers how to pray, he said to start with, “Our Father…” A good earthly father doesn’t want anything from his kids; he wants things for them. The same is true of our Heavenly Father.
  • The eulogy exercise not only draws you closer to what you really want, it hints at what you were created for.
  • Much of what God wants for us is found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
  • In other words, if God had his way in your life, this is what you would have.
  • When we first think of the question, “What do I want,” we have to keep looking beyond what comes most immediately to mind.
  • If you keep digging into the question, “What do I want,” eventually you get to certain character traits; you get to meaning and significance and legacy. It’s in that realm that you may find yourself face to face with the will of your Heavenly Father for your life.
  • What you really want and what God wants for you are closer than you ever imagined.
  • When you discover this — what you really value, what God wants for you — you will be less prone to settle for what you merely want.

Taking it to heart

There’s a lot to consider here, a lot to wrestle with.

It’s okay to want to remodel your kitchen. And it’s okay to remodel your kitchen. But it’s helpful to consider that at your funeral, you’re not going to want anyone to sum up your life by describing what an amazing kitchen you had. You’re going to want them to talk about your character, how you treated people, and what eternally-significant things you lived for.

What would you want said about you at your funeral? How does that impact the goals you’re pursuing? In what ways might it influence how you’re pursuing them?

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3 Responses to What Will Be Said About You?

  1. Craig S February 14, 2017 at 1:41 PM #

    Sorry for the few typos – am remote and was posting on the run…

  2. Craig S February 14, 2017 at 1:39 PM #


    Always enjoy/appreciate your posts. In Robert Lewis’s Quest for Authentic Manhood study, he talks about the importance of 1) Rejecting Passivity 2) Leading Courageously 3) Accepting Responsibility and notably for this blog 4) Living Eternally. Interesting that #4 comes at “the end” of the list…

    With this in mind, you asked about living with the end in mind. At our office, the team recently experienced an unexpected and painful client loss. Through no fault of their own, a major account switched to a new supplier as a result of a regime change. Everyone had poured their heart and soul into helping this supplier perform at the highest levels, winning sales and top satisfaction scores along the way. It was hard not to be angry and even bitter… But I reminded the team (and even the client that left us) that “we’d rather be known for our values than our successes”… So even though it costs us significant financial downside, we offered to continue to invest in the business and finish well”

    So this was a good reminder of how important it it to remind yourself of who you’re ultimately working for and what he wants for you… to pursue holiness, even in times of suffering.

    • Matt Bell February 14, 2017 at 1:58 PM #

      Great stuff, Craig. Thanks for sharing such a powerful example of applying these ideas to the real world of running your own business. It’s inspiring to see how you’re looking past the P&L and thinking about the impact on the people you employ and those at the client company. I have to believe those values will be remembered much longer than the successes.