I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. We usually use it in the context of doing something that we might otherwise avoid. Life is short so…take that vacation; spend more time with your kids; do what is best for you, fo bungie jumping, swim in the ocean, etc. The truth is, sometimes it’s good to remember that life is short. James reminds us in James 4 that our lives are but a vapor or a mist. Life is short and we should remember that we only have so much time to do things.
But not everything thrown after that statement is good. Sometimes instead it means that you only get one shot at this so do something foolish. Do something wrong because you won’t get the chance again. Earlier this week I was on my email reading something I’d been sent and I happened to glance over and look at the ad on the screen.
The ad had a picture of a woman on it and had a simple statement: “Life is short. Have an affair.” That’s a bold ad. I know that affairs aren’t uncommon but this was something else. This wasn’t slowly making poor decisions that led to an affair. This was essentially saying, “I’m only going to live once, an affair is something worth having.”
It’s portrayed as if by not having an affair, we are somehow missing something. That marriage causes you to miss out on something even better, an affair. The more and more I think about this ad the more I think this is the siren call of sin and temptation.
You only live once so…Life is short so…Satan is more than willing to let us “only live once” because the consequences are far greater than we realize. He’s more than willing to draw our attention to the fact that life is short. This kind of temptation lures us in by claiming to allow us to reach something better in life that we’ve been missing out on. That we will someday we will look back on our lives and regret not trying it at least once. That was a big part of Satan’s temptation of Eve. You are missing out on something. You’ll regret not having the same knowledge that God has.
If you’ve ever struggled with sin, you’ve seen this same kind of thing in your own life. The things satan tempts us with never deliver fully and the consequences are always greater than we anticipate.
I’d like to offer a different ad today. I’d like to ask you to consider this instead: “You only live once. Live for God.” Instead of viewing this one life as the time we should get in everything we’ve ever wanted isn’t it better to consider instead that we only get one life to choose what comes next? The truth is, we do only live once, at least in the way we do now. But someday, we will live for eternity and the “one life” we have today affects that.
I hope that when temptations come my way and yours, that we remember that life is short but we remember that because we only get once chance to choose the right thing.