Why We’re Just Not OK with Death

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
–Mark Twain

I think one of the strangest things about me is this: I’m OK with death. I’ve made my peace with death and I’m ready to go at any time and be with Christ. And this is not because I dislike the earthly life. I very much cherish and value my time here. And I will stay here as long as God has determined. But I’m always looking forward to an even better place and existence than this fallen and broken world we live in. My life verse is Philippians 1:21 where the apostle Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (ESV). Like Paul, I consider death as great gain for myself. And that’s because I get to be with Christ—my Lord and Savior—in heaven. I’m anticipating all the things that God’s Kingdom has to offer me in eternity. I tell this strange fact about myself whenever I get the chance to. And it inevitably leads to a few odd looks from people who think I’ve probably lost my marbles.

There’s a question I often ask people in workshops when I speak on the topic of purpose: if you died today, would you be OK with that? And I’ve found that the majority of people I’ve met are honestly not OK with that. If you happen to be one of those who aren't OK with death, I want you to know that that’s fine. But here’s the deal: you need to find out why. You need to find out why you’re not OK with death. And you need to find out why as soon as you can.

I think one of the reasons why so many people are not OK with death is because they’ve invested so much in this world. They’ve invested much of their time, energy, and money on earthly things and treasures. They’ve spent so much on…

Building a dream home
Accumulating money in bank accounts
Reaching the top of the career ladder
Getting as popular or as famous as they can
Investing in a stock portfolio
Preparing for a comfortable future/retirement

And they want to reap all the benefits of those things one day. And that’s one of the major reasons why so many people aren’t OK with death. Death equates to the loss of all those things—those earthly investments that they’ve been making for years. Now those things aren’t necessarily wrong per se. They can and should be used to honor God. But here’s an important question that we need to wrestle with: have we invested so much in this world that we’ve neglected to invest in a far more important place—the Kingdom of heaven?

I think we’d begin to look forward to heaven so much more if we’ve been investing time, energy, and money in Kingdom things. And we know that we’d reap those amazing rewards one day when we get there. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19-20, ESV). Have we been storing up treasure on earth? Or have we been wiser by storing up treasure in heaven? Those who aren’t OK with death might feel that way because they’ve only stored up treasure here on earth and have nothing really to look forward to in the next life.