Remember Tim McGraw’s 2004 country hit, Live Like You Were Dying? If you’ve forgotten in the last 11 years give a listen.
I’ve been a fan of the song for a number of years. Tim sings about a man who discovers he doesn’t have long to live due to a terminal illness. His response is to check off his bucket list and to soften his interactions with people.
In light of his imminent death, he
– loved deeper
– spoke sweeter
– was finally the husband that most the time he wasn’t
– was the friend a friend would like to have
– read the “good book”
– gave forgiveness he’d been denying
Live like you were dying is a simple phrase that has nosed its way into my thinking. In fact, it’s influenced big and small decisions in my life.
Should we go to get frozen yogurt today?
Yes, because you never know when you’ll die.
Should I call my parents tonight?
Yes, because you never know when they might die.
Should I do a mud run in August?
Yes, because you never know when you may get into an accident that leaves you paralyzed…or you might die.
Should I do a puzzle with Little Sister?
Yes, because you never know when she might die and you’ll regret not spending more time with her.
My thought process may sound a bit ridiculous, but this is how much I consider death when I make everyday decisions. And it has become a burden for me to live like I’m dying.
My decisions are rooted in fear of dying, instead of joy in living.
When the kids leave in the car, I make sure to kiss them and tell them I love the…because what if they die? I do the same thing with Jim every time he leaves the house.
It is exhausting to think about death constantly.
I don’t think keeping death in mind is all bad. It’s actually scriptural to consider the frailty of our bodies.
Psalm 103:15, 16 – “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.”
1 Peter 1:24 – “As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in a field. The grass withers and the flower fades.”
Death is an unwelcome piece of reality we need to address. It is going to happen to us all. It will happen to those we hold most dear.
But keeping it at the center of my life is a dangerous thing. And it’s not the complete scriptural picture.
Death is a reality because of Adam and Eve’s sin. But so is new life in Christ.
Life in Christ is the rest of the story.
Jesus’ humble act on the cross and His spectacular resurrection ensure eternal life to all who believe in Him. We have been rescued from the bondage of sin, and from the sting of death. Remember 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57?
Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?…but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are no longer subject to death. So why in the world would I allow death to play such a big part in my life?
I remain a slave to death when I “live like I’m dying”. I am not living in freedom. Galatians 5:1 says,
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
What if instead of living like we’re dying, we live like we’re fully alive in Christ?
We live gratefully and joyfully in the gifts that God has given us. We are motivated to live differently, not due to fear of death, but because 1 John 4:19
We loved because He (Jesus) first loved us.
– We are a better spouse because
we’re going to die Jesus first loved us.
– We love deeper because
we’re going to die Jesus first loved us.
– I call my parents because
they might die soon God calls me to honor my mom and dad.
– I play with my kids because
they could die God has given them to me to love and care for.
My life looks different not because I’m going to die,
but because One greater than me has died.
Living like I’m FULLY ALIVE IN CHRIST doesn’t look too different on the outside. I still play with my kids and forgive and love with all I can give. But in my mind, and in my heart, it makes all the difference. I’m living in the glory of Christ instead of the shadow of death. And that is true freedom!
How do you experience life in Christ to the fullest?