Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Thought about James 4:13, for Atheists and Believers

Although I do not read in a most literal sense and have an unorthodox view of God, the Bible has some lessons in it that can be universally ethical, and ultimately make common sense, no matter what religious or secular background you come from...

James 4:13-17
Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

What I got from this:

It is true, that often we, the majority of the United States, including Wall Street and everyone associated with it, bet on making a profit or doing something that we will gain some sort of profit from, whether it be emotionally, physically, or financially. For myself, I told myself that I would complete an online program by the 29th of February. But what I didn't know, is that my laptop would malfunction, preventing me from finishing it up to this point. We all make deadlines, I don't think it is wrong to make deadlines, but I think the lesson that James is trying to teach us is that our lives are like the laptop. How long we last or how long our components last is not determined by us but by our Manufacturer. We can believe our Manufacturer to be God, or we can believe our Manufacturer to be Science, or a mixture of both. Regardless, we don't know when one of our parts will malfunction, therefore, boasting is sort of fallacious in that it is based on an unknown factor, a presumed factor. Yet instead, when we have strengths and when we accomplish something, we should be humble that we had the time on earth to accomplish it.

James says that our lives are like a "mist" that appears for a short time then "vanishes". It is true, the human life is very short compared to what has occurred before us. I think the moral of this is that we should try to focus on the greater meaning of life and not the things that are trivial in the end. Because when it comes down to it, it will be the meaningful things, the things that give us purpose, that make life worth living, however long it is.

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