How do you want to be remembered?

It’s not an idle question, one of those hypothetical “what if” fantasies.

It’s real. For one day, you will be remembered.

When I perform funerals, I sit with families who lost loved ones and try to get an angle on the deceased’s life. “What do you remember about them?”

And…those form the words spoken over your body.

How will grandchildren describe you to their children?

Harsh. Funny. Hateful. Attentive. Single words will be used.

But how would you want to be remembered if your name was in the Bible?

I am always amazed at the single mention of people in the text. They are average and unknown.

Yet, they get mentioned for eternity because a verse or two drops in their names.

That’s what happened in 2 Timothy 1.

Paul is in Roman custody, apparently awaiting the day of his death. And it is not long off.

He penned his final lessons, things you want people to really “get”. But he sprinkles names in the book.

Two he mentions are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

We know nothing about them except…one word–they deserted me. When Paul needed them most, they left him in the lurch.

But then, there is this obscure man whose name means “profitable.” He is Onesiphorus.

Paul says that when he came to Rome, he searched the labyrinth of city streets, inquiring. Have you seen a man named Paul? He’s a prisoner. It was difficult because…you know a prisoner? “Something must be wrong with you, too, if that’s the company you keep!” (That’s how people must have thought of Onesiphorus.)

As the two turncoats are remembered with a single word, Onesiphorus also gets his eternal reputation.

“May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.” (2 Timothy 1:16)

He refreshed me.

We don’t know how he did it. Perhaps it was a friendly conversation with a lonely old man.

Cool water to parched lips.
Funny stories that lifted spirits.

But we know this…Paul was revived and could breathe freely after being in the presence of Onesiphorus.

Isn’t that a great way to be remembered?

Pay attention because you and I will be remembered…with a single word. What word do you want to be used of you?