Paul Sohn: What Will Your Epitaph Say?

Written by on July 31, 2013

Paul Sohn Portrait

Today I am pleased to introduce to you my good friend Paul Sohn, brilliant author and speaker. Paul has a passion for calling us to lead our lives as we follow Christ with intentionality. He writes about his perspectives on intentional living, growth, leadership, and the Christian life at

Paul shares with us the following:


Tombstones Mt Scott

What will your epitaph say? Who honestly thinks about a question like this, right? It sounds rather morbid and horrid. Several years ago when I faced this question, I found this rather demoralizing and untimely. I thought to myself, “Certainly, I’m not going to die tomorrow. How could I? I’m only twenty-four. Why would I think about such a question?” But after several years, God has placed me in situations where my object of success and meaning in life was utterly transformed and redefined.

If you’ve never pondered such question, try it out—really! Sooner or later, you’ll notice that the fulcrum of the question rests on what values and priorities most matter to you in life. As a result, this will help you sort out the long-term vision of your life. In essence, you will have a better picture of your legacy.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon the epitaph of William Carey which forced me to articulate my legacy.

Born August 17, 1761
Died June 9, 1834
A wretched, poor, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall

A “helpless worm”? As born-again Christians, do most of us not think that we are born again creatures who are pure and innocent? Who aspires to be a “helpless worm”? Before I read the epitaph I thought it would read something along the lines of how faithfully and influentially Dr. Carey served the Lord. Again, I soon realized the wisdom and profundity behind the message. This was a humbling moment. Being a “worm” meant, as John Piper remarked, “an indomitable servant of Jesus, who, in spite of innumerable failures, perseveres productively to the end by grace along through faith alone.”

What about you?

Go back to the question about what will be written on your epitaph. I know God is using me in every endeavor to direct me to His purpose. I have discovered my mission in life, and I’m in the process of refining my vision and reinforcing my set of core values. How is God using you in your life? Start thinking about what your epitaph will say. I guarantee this will serve you profitably in the many years to come.

Reader, what will your epitaph say?

Bugle Taps

About the Author:

Subscribe to Paul Sohn’s blog at Paul’s an organizational chiropractor, kingdom-minded influencer, and intentional leader and works for The Boeing Company in Lean manufacturing. He writes about his perspectives on intentional living, growth, leadership, and the Christian life at You can also find him on Facebook.

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  1. Nancey West   On   July 31, 2013 at 11:32 am

    First, I thought how I wanted people to say how compassionate I was; how I helped others. But a few words on a headstone is different. I think I would have “Not the end.” To the world, death is final. To the Christian it is only crossing a bridge.

    • Lynn Hare   On   July 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Nancey – awesome. Death is the beginning of a new kind of eternity. I’ve grieved a couple of friends passing recently. I quit using the word “die” because, like you say, it’s really passing from one life to another life. Yay!

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