“Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15)
Most of us hate to see someone slowly die. A slow death is painful to watch as well as for those enduring it. We, as a culture and society, would like to pretend that death is not real or is not imminent. We avoid talking about it, acknowledging it or dealing with it. If we learned anything with the COVID pandemic, it’s death comes to all regardless of race, age, health, or wealth. However, there is a greater death we should all be more fearful of than physical death. This death is also a slow process, as James describes.
St. James writes to us regarding sin and death. He uses the imagery of a woman conceiving and then giving birth. When a woman is pregnant this is only part of the process of the fulfillment of bringing forth a person into this world. A person is conceived, grows and develops in the womb, and then is born. Sin is the same way. It begins with something small, grows and develops, and then finally is brought to its fulfillment which leads to a person’s eternal death. Death on this earth is not permanent but death in the eternal life is forever. Physical death gives way to an eternal life – or an eternal death.
We are all slowly approaching the end of our physical life. Each day brings us closer to our last day. It does not matter if that last day is tomorrow or 50 years from now. The reality is each day, each breath, is bringing us closer to our eternal home. Each decision we make leads us to life or death.
I laugh at the new commercial featuring the Property Brothers where the brothers are on the beach and one is sitting in a chair trying to get on the internet while the other is planning firewood, how to get clean water, and survival skills. It’s a funny commercial on the surface. However, one can gain a lot of inspiration and focus by watching the commercial. When the camera zooms out at the end of the commercial you see civilization in the background and they are simply on a beach and not stranded on a deserted island. The reaction of the two brothers in the commercial reminds me of the situation every individual is in with life. The brother struggling and stressed over firewood and fresh water has a limited view of the entire picture. He has a limited view of reality and what is happening around him. The other brother, who is enjoying sitting in beach recliner stress free and watching the internet, points to those who have a broader picture of what is really happening around us. It is our view of reality, of the world, and how limited or broad our vision is that causes us to either fear death or embrace it. Those who are fearful are those with limited vision. Those who embrace it, or at the very least have little fear, are those who have a broader vision.
What is your vision? Do you see the broader picture of how God is moving, acting, and bringing us to Himself and salvation no matter the situation or do you have the limited view of what is not available, what needs you have before you, and what you must do to survive? Are you more focused on surviving this physical life or eternal life? Where is your view leading you?