Resume virtues vs. eulogy virtues

By Dave Henning / December 16, 2020

” . . . resume virtues can be good and God-pleasing.  But when we’ve breathed our last breath and our bodies are laid to rest, for what things will our loved ones give thanks with the most affection?  Undoubtedly, it will be those multiple moments through which Christ Himself was active in love through us; our eulogy virtues, our callings done in His name, for His glory, and in response to His love.”- Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger

Rev. Jeffrey Leininger continues Chapter 1 of Callings for Life as he contrasts resume virtues with eulogy virtues.  While we tend to strive after accomplishments that advance our status, power, or influence, most of the activities of Luther’s ‘five-handed, ten-headed’ Christian fail to qualify as resume virtues.  Of course, Rev. Leininger explains, none of our eulogy virtues possess saving power.  The author states:

“None of these can save us — that’s already been done through the blood of Jesus, which forgives us and makes us right before God.  But all of them have sacred import and impact, giving us meaning and purpose regardless of how little they’re recognized by the world.”

Certainly, Sen. John McCain’s resume listed many stellar achievements: brave POW; decorated war hero; senator; presidential candidate.  Yet, in her eulogy, daughter Meghan described the love that defined every day of John’s life.  Above all, Rev. Leininger adds:

“In Christ Jesus, we are freed to exercise vocations, callings, through many God-given relationships.  Most of these will never be listed on a resume; all of them are fulfilling God’s purpose.”

Finally, Rev. Leininger asks, where do we find our callings (plural)?  Furthermore, how do we discover those callings?  The author exhorts you to look to the faces, places, and spaces of your life.  View them as gifts.  Then they take on sacred, joyful importance.  And, we need to see all the faces we encounter as Christ does.  In addition, God already, even now, works through you as you minister to others.

Today’s question: Do you truly see resume virtues or eulogy virtues as more important?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the Christmas Short Meditation – “Break forth, O beauteous morning light”

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Dave Henning

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