Soon after my husband and I were married the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off came out. Though money was tight as we were starting out Dear Hubby and I splurged and went to the theater to see it. We loved Ferris….his irreverent style, his can-do attitude, his ingenuity in manipulating people in order to get what he wanted was hilarious. Everyone loved Ferris….everyone except for the school principal and Ferris’ sister since they knew the truth about him.
Even the school clerk remarked, “That Ferris….he’s a righteous dude.”
IS Ferris Bueller a righteous dude?
While Ferris has the ingredients for a great movie character and everyone in his school loved him and would tell of his exploits for years to come, he misses the mark scripturally as a righteous dude.
While it’s nice to be remembered….perhaps we need to examine which specific actions are worth being remembered for.
Michelle Nordeman’s lyrics for her song Legacy state:
We all need an “Atta boy” or “Atta girl”
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
the temporary trappings of this world.
I have to agree. “Atta boys” or “Atta girls” are great. I thrive on them. I bet you do too. You love to get them, and you sure do feel a little miffed when you don’t receive one.
Do they matter in the long run?
Sure, I’ll leave behind my stuff, I’ll leave behind a large volume of my written thoughts and ideas online and offline, and I’ll leave behind my children to create new branches in our family tree, but will it matter that I was here?
Will it matter that I was passionate about history and history education?
Will it matter that I tried to be a good daughter and nursed my mother through her last days on Earth?
Will it matter I was once named Teacher of the Year, taught over a hundred kids each year, or was known to know a little bit more than the average person regarding my subject matter?
Will it matter I had a dog named Lady growing up, will it matter I gave birth to my second child at home, or took piano lessons for nine years?
None of it matters…..not a whit. Just as the song lyrics state everything I’ve related about myself in this post are all temporary and fleeting things of this world.
Over the spance of time I will not be remembered for any of these worldly things. These things are NOT my legacy.
My legacy will involve only those things that involve His kingdom…..only by focusing on His kingdom and by striving to be righteous can I be remembered forever (Psalm 112:6).
Righteous. It sounds like hard standard to reach, doesn’t it? When we really think about it it seems easier to be a top-knotch teacher, doctor, lawyer, cook, mother, father, etc. than it does to be a righteous man or woman. Heck, it’d be even easier to aspire to be another Ferris Bueller.
While it may seem a bit impossible to be a truly righeous man or woman I believe it’s worth a try. Recently a pastor at my church provided four qualities a person with righteous character would exhibit.
The first quality involves integrity….speaking truthfully, keeping your promises. I mean the last thing I would want to be is like the person described in Proverbs 25:14…People who promise things they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain. The second part of integrity involves practicing what you preach…even when no one is looking. I constantly remind my students that it is very easy to do the right thing and follow all of our procedures while I’m standing over them. The test of true character is what happens when my back is turned…when they are on their own. Psalm 101:2 prompts “ I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help especially in my own home where I long to act as I should.”
The second quality involves intensity. Ever hear someone say you should do everything for the glory of God? Why would you do this? Don’t you think if you are doing something for God you will always do your best? I think I would. Colossians 3:23 reminds us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
We should also give generously. That “can” be a hard one these days, but 2 Corinthians 9:9 convicts us with the words, “Godly people give generously…Their good deeds will never be forgotten.”, and Proverbs 11:25 tells us “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
Finally, in order to be a righteous man or woman we should succeed with humility. Arrogance will only bring our downfall, but if you are humble you will be respected (Proverbs 29:23). This is totally counter-intuitive to our culture, isn’t it? We are told to be proud and loud. Just think about how many award shows and ceremonies there are in the media today. Our society preaches it’s all about the accolades, but remember…..they are fleeting.
Be a righteous dude for God....not for man.