As I was putting off the task of cutting the grass (or as they say up here in the Sticks, mowing the lawn), I was scrolling on Facebook. And, I came across this:
My first response was to smile, agree and share it with my best friend. We’ve only been friends for a little over a year and we’ve done our best to cram as much best friend stuff in our time as possible! But, as I started really thinking about it, I was reminded that, no matter our age, there’s less time to waste. And, we never know how much less there really is.
The Bible gives a few scriptures about how to live a longer life. One of the commandments even mentions it. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” It was reiterated in Deuteronomy 5 and Ephesians 6. Also, Proverbs 10:27 says, “The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.“ That seems pretty straight forward – do what you’re supposed to and your life will be longer.
But then, Solomon said, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1. We see that sentiment echoed by James, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (v. 4:14). Job 14:1,2 says, “How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear.” NLT. Psalm 103:15 says, “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field.”
So. Which scriptures do we believe? Well, both I think. I mean, it seems obvious to me if you go around breaking all of man’s and God’s laws, you’re not going to make it long. Somebody is going to take you out! But, sometimes, if feels like Billy Joel had it exactly right when he sang, “only the good die young.”
The truth is, none of us know how long we’ll live or how long our loved ones will live. We don’t know from one minute to the next what’s actually going to happen. And, I don’t think we always do a good job of living like we believe that! What to do? Well, I think the only real choice is to love. I believe it’s the only good thing that will follow us to heaven. We can’t take things with us, only people. And how are we going to get people to Jesus if we don’t love them there?
So….love recklessly! Love the people who deserve it. And love the people who don’t. Give more than you think you should. Go the extra mile. Smile when you don’t feel like it. Live a life that makes others wonder where you got your joy. Then…tell them. Tell them about Jesus. Tell them about His love. Tell them about the cross. And tell them about the unspeakable joy that comes from living life well. In the end, I believe that’s what God’s going to be most concerned about – how much we loved.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.
(All verses are from the NIV unless noted otherwise.)