OPINION: ALFORD: If you're going to dig, make sure you're pointed right direction

May 12—Maybe you heard about the husband who had a wicked wife who fussed and fumed at him constantly, calling him every imaginable name. Neighbors would hear her yelling and screaming at him late into the night.

"When I die," she told her husband, "I'm going to dig my way out of the grave and haunt you the rest of your life."

When she died, that husband went about his life as if he had nary a concern in the world. The neighbors asked him if he was at all worried that she might be able to dig out of that grave?

"Let her dig," he said. "I had her buried face down."

I couldn't remember whether I shared that old joke in the past, but it fit well with today's message looking at how we want to be remembered after we're gone.

Certainly we wouldn't want to be remembered as wicked, but kind, helpful, friendly, and loving.

In fact, the Bible calls us to that.

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Perhaps you've seen the man or woman who was filled with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking come to Christ. You've seen the incredible change that comes about in that person after they surrender to Christ. All of a sudden, they become kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.

Some years ago, I wrote a story about a fellow who was a drug addict and dealer. During one of his stints in jail, he heard a gospel sermon in which the preacher said Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, that God will forgive our sins and give us a new start in life, that He will make us new.

This man had lived a terrible life. His family was afraid of him. He had no real friends. And, on the day he was released from jail, he had no place to go. He spent the night in a portable toilet on a construction site where he called on the Lord, asking for forgiveness and salvation.

The Lord honored his prayer and radically changed that fellow. He became an Ephesians 4 Christian, serving the Lord with all his heart. He became kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.

I'm glad the Lord can change us so dramatically. He will do that for anyone who asks.

Reach Roger Alford at 502-514-6857 or rogeralford1@gmail.com.