I am currently grieving the loss of someone very dear to me. This grief has caused me to realise how fruitless and needless is the fear of man.
I was thinking about this when I received news of my dearest Uncle Laurie, my special grandfather figure. Uncle Laurie is due to have his bladder removed next month because of cancer. Still grieving for my Aunty Kathy, I was overwhelmed to hear of someone else so dear to me being seriously ill.
But rather than cry like I normally would, I was genuinely struck with the reality of our fleeting time here on earth. I was sobered by the reminder that, 'Man is like a breath and his days are but a passing shadow' (Psalm chapter 144, verse 4).
Live your best life now
The world tells us, very convincingly, that we are here to enjoy the ride, to have a good time. We're encouraged to 'live our best life now' because YOLOâyou only live once.
Worldly values are often at the core of our desires, priorities and plans. Our worldly love of image, sex appeal, social status, pleasure and comfort are often our driving force.
All of these things point not to glorifying Christ on the Cross, but rather to the glorification of self.
We typically work for the majority of our lives in order to afford a life as comfortable as possible. We look forward to the rewards of our works: the family home, the vehicle, the holidays, retirement and more holidaying. The stagnant days in suburbia are our prize, our well-deserved pay off for putting down the hard yards. We raise our glasses to us, for a lifetime of living for ourselves.
It is ridiculous to think that even believers can prescribe to this whole 'best life now' notion. If we are placed here on earth to live, as they say, our best lives now, then what would be the point of Christ being nailed to the Cross?
It completely nullifies the grace of God and the very reason that He sent His only son to die for us, that we would have eternity with Him in Heaven (only as an afterthought of our best life here and now?).
How can believers fully put their hope in Christ and His return if they're busy conforming to the ways of the world and belief that this life is primarily what we're living for? How can they align these views with scripture?
This is why preachers who preach the 'prosperity gospel' and urge their congregations to 'name and claim' worldly treasures and live self-glorifying, Christ-less lives lead their flocks astray. These are exactly the type of false teachings that the Bible warns of.
Glorifying God in this momentary life
Our afternoons in the office, minutes spent in traffic or waiting for the weekend convince us this is a lengthy life, that we have all the time in the world. Let us not be deceived. It is fleeting, momentary and all but a breathâThe grass withers, the flower fades but the Word of our God will stand forever' (Isaiah chapter 40, verse 8).
As Christians, our motivations and goals should be Christ-centred, that we may bring glory to God and not ourselves. Knowing we are but 'a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes' (James chapter 4, verse 16) at a time and day unbeknown to us, we are to use our limited time wisely.
Let us be reminded of the sheer urgency of sharing the gospel with unbelievers, lest they pass away or Christ return before they hear it.
Let us use our time to strengthen other believers by encouraging them in the scripture and building the Kingdom of God, where our real treasures are stored.
Let us not sit back, being idle or ungrateful for our numbered days, but instead rejoice in the Lord and the glory of His creation.
Help us when we are tempted to wallow in despair, when our hearts our downcast, for this here is a momentary affliction that is preparing us for the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 17).
Hope in Christ, and the day that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things would have passed away (Revelation chapter 21, verse 4).
For only then will we be living our best life.
Scarlett Jones resides by the seaside in Wellington and loves reading, films, craft and quality time with friends and family.
Scarlett Jones previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/scarlett-jones.html