Short and Sweet

James 4:14

AVERAGE LIFE SPANS ARE shorter than most of us realize. Unlike the great redwood trees that can last for a thousand years, most other things come and go quickly. Several examples illustrate how temporary things really are:

Copper plumbing: twenty to twenty-five years

Face-lift: six to ten years

Car muffler: two to three years

Dollar bill: five to six years

Painted line on the road: three to four months

Pro basketball player’s shoes: one week

I purposely omitted human beings. Most would agree our life span is somewhere between seventy-five and eighty-five years. The simple fact is, nobody knows for sure how long they may live. When we read and believe the warnings in Scripture, there is little doubt that life is short.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

JAMES 4:14

So how can we make our lives count? Three thoughts come to mind.

First, act on your impulses. I challenged a group of people recently to reach out now to someone—and not wait for the “perfect” moment. A woman in the audience took my words to heart and contacted a person she hadn’t talked to for a long time. The person was thrilled. She responded, “You have no idea how much your call has meant to me.” She later admitted she had planned to take her life that very afternoon, but the call had changed her mind.

Second, focus on the positive. Merchants of negativism may be strong and sound convincing, but their message is debilitating. Life’s too short for that. Spread germs of cheer. Joy becomes contagious.

Third, traffic in the truth. Refuse to stake your claim on hearsay evidence. Check out the facts. Be discerning. And if you are a conduit of communication, speak only the truth. If you’re not sure, keep quiet.

What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Christian Living, Love and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.