“The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.”
How will I be remembered? This is the focus of my thoughts upon reading this verse…the question of what people think, even now, when I come to mind.
First, let me clarify: I’m not saying that I am now consumed with what others think of me or basing self-worth on their words or actions. Rather, I am reflecting on the characteristics that should be displayed in the life of one who follows Christ.
I am drawn to the words of Psalm 112:6-7, “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” This person is never moved. Trusting absolutely in his Lord, to the point where fear of the future (and the present) is overcome. Which at times may seem impossible. But perhaps this isn’t someone who never experiences fear—perhaps it is simply one who faces that fear and chooses, notwithstanding, to believe in the Lord, allowing faith to win the victory. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). It is a decision to set the Lord before you, fixing your eyes on the truth of who He is, and remember that Almighty God is at your right hand—always present and always for you. And so you cast aside the fear and doubt and make your heart stand firm.
The phrase in Psalm 112:6, “he will be remembered forever,” can have two applications. It could be that the righteous one spoken of, whose trust in his Lord is so absolute that it affects his whole outlook, has made such an impression on those around him that they will never forget him. It could also be that he will always be remembered by God Himself. Both of which are true. When we are living out our faith, displaying confidence in our words and actions that God is with us and will not fail, exhibiting the characteristics of Christ, people around us will take notice. If we are a blessing to them, they very likely will not forget us. And God has said, “O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me…Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 44:21, 49:15-16). Our Lord will never forget. And He will always be faithful. Not a moment is spent away from His watchful eye.
Our faith plays a major role in how we live our life. It impacts everything. How we face the future. How we speak to those around us. How we react to opportunities to show grace and compassion. Because as we trust our Lord, we will choose to live as He did. With love as the leading characteristic in all that we do—love for Him and for those He places in our path. Showing patience. Being kind and gentle. Not insisting on our own way. Pursuing peace in our relationships. Encouraging each other regardless of how we are treated. We base our actions and words on who our God is, rather than on what others do or say. Because He is good and righteous and holy, and He sees us, and He will reward us for our faithfulness to Him. We seek to honor Him and show the world who our God is: the Unchanging One who loves us and forgives us not because we deserve it, but because He chooses to do so.
So let us live to be a blessing. Our God will strengthen us to do so as we live in the joy of the Lord.