A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume. In the same way, the day you die is better than the day you are born. It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now. – Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 (NLT)
At first glance, this passage seems kind of morbid. How in the world is it better to spend time at funerals than festivals? Who in their right mind likes going to funerals? With all that’s going on in the world, why would I want to intentionally think about death?
At closer inspection, this passage has profound wisdom that is especially appropriate as we begin a new year.
The author might have communicated his point in a different way, by inviting you to ask yourself this question: when you get to the end of your life, what do you want to be true of you? Or to put it another way, how do you want to be eulogized by others?
The fool only thinks about the here and now (verse 4) and what kind of fun they can have (festivals). But the wise person thinks about what kind of person they want to become (their reputation) and what will be said about them by others when they die.
As we embark on another year, it’s only natural to think about the things you want to accomplish in the coming year. Perhaps you want to lose weight and get healthy. Or maybe you want to advance in your profession or develop yourself educationally.
It’s ok to set material and professional goals but don’t neglect your character and your reputation. The wise person realizes that this is the most important area to think about and reflect on.
What steps can you take this year to move toward becoming the kind of person you want to ultimately be known as? What resources do you need to help you get there?
If you’re a Young Adult, contact us about coaching and other resources that can help you grow and develop in all areas of your life.
Here’s to a Happy and blessed New Year!