One of my favorite Bible studies is “Who am I apart from God? Who am I in Christ?”
Understanding and applying these questions often leads to some in my classes changing from the first group to the second. We are taught from the time we are children that we are responsible for our actions. Our actions as part of the first group, is total separation from God.
One of my teachers in college had a saying that has stuck with me over the years. It went something like, “Some people are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.” She was referring to some good church leaders and pastors. Her face still sticks with me. She was an excellent Christian education and apologetics teacher. Several things this older lady taught have stayed with me these 50-plus years. She told it like it was.
It would be interesting to make two recordings of what people say about a man who had a bad reputation. The one recording would be while he was alive and active. The other would be after he died. There are people who have had very little good said about them while they are alive. Few have had much bad said about them after they die physically. This is especially true at the visitation and funeral.