Samson . . . killed many more when he died than when he lived. (Judg. 16:30)

I taught a class on establishing personal and corporate mission statements to a group of ministers. One morning I had the class meet me in the local cemetery. For thirty minutes they respectfully wandered among the graves reading the headstones. I wanted them to see how people described the deceased who were buried there.

We gathered in the shade of a tree and shared what we had found. Some descriptions were inspiring, some were touching, and some were factual.

One of the most poignant epitaphs simply read, “Bless His Heart.” We surmised that this was the kindest thing that could be said about someone who seemed to have lived a life without purpose.

Samson’s tombstone would have been very different. He lived his life with purpose and sought God’s forgiveness when he fell into sin. Even at the end of his life his prayer was to die making a difference for God’s glory. That is why in his death he killed more Philistines that he did in his whole life.

Stephen Covey encourages effective people to “begin with the end in mind.” Tim Elmore encourages effective Christians to “write their life sentence” and then live out the epitaph they want to leave.

Samson teaches us that living your life with a passion for God can make a difference in your lifetime and beyond.

Follow Christ and your legacy will extend beyond your death and grave.

Ken Dill is the associate vice president for spiritual life and university chaplain at Southern Wesleyan University. He loves his family and enjoys birding and NASCAR.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.