Think of the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years that make up your life as a bank account. If your lifetime was equated to money, you would get a predetermined amount of money. You would not be able to add anything to this account, you can only spend it. If we thought of our lives as a finite resource, how would you spend it? If you have misspent part of your life, how would you plan to manage the rest?
The Book of Hebrews states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27, KJV). The Book of James also describes our lives as a mist or vapor. Knowing that we have such a short time to live, why do we choose to live our lives filled with bitterness, hatred, regret, and being outright uncivil with the people around us and people that we do not even know? If you realized that putting down this person, that church, worrying about this political issue, or holding onto that grudge was quickly draining your life’s bank account, would you change your ways?
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in times past, Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 1:10-13, KJV).
What if we were to look at those who offend us and hurt us as those who are also God’s workmanship, but are without Christ? What if we expected to encounter difficulties in our lives from others, but not let it ruin our days and certainly not our lives?
The Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Say to yourself first thing in the morning: today I shall meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, aggressive, treacherous, malicious, unsocial. All this has afflicted them through their ignorance of true good and evil.” So, if we were to view such people as those who need Christ, how would that temper our expectations and treatment of our fellow brothers and sisters in this world?
We do not know how many years we get to live upon this earth. Although there may be statistical models such as average life expectancy, our lives and times are in the hands of God alone. We must take the time that we have left and live for Christ and to live to the fullest, for we do not know when the account is going to reach a zero balance. We must learn to make the best of whatever situation in which we find ourselves and strive for a contentment of spirit.
 Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, translated by Marcus Hammond. London: Penguin Books, 2006: 11.