Ministers are often called upon to conduct funerals for persons who do not have a church. Whenever I am called upon to conduct a funeral of someone I do not know, I try to arrange a meeting with the family prior to the funeral so I can have a little information of the person whose funeral I am going to be doing. I remember visiting with one family. The setting was awkward. I asked the family to tell me something about Aunt Ethel. There was this long pause and finally someone spoke and said, “Well, there really isn’t much to tell. She was just mean and ornery.” I was trying to write down some pearls of wisdom about the life of this lady and all I got was, “She was mean and ornery.” I can tell you it was a pretty short funeral. Life is too short to waste it by being mean and ornery. I agree with Mark Twain who once said, “Live your life in such a good way that when you die, even the funeral director will be sad.” I think God’s word says it even better, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Don’t be mean and ornery. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. It is a much better way to live.
– Dr. Tim Thompson