A Common Expression

There is an expression which has come into common parlance as a means of self-motivation. The expression is: “Tomorrow is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life.” The purpose of this expression is to focus upon prioritizing one’s life a day at a time. This expression can be helpful to those who have difficulty prioritizing or are overcoming hardship such as addiction or depression. Choosing to change one’s future begins with now.

Major Flaws

However, this expression has a few major flaws because the philosophy misses the reality of what life truly is.

A faulty assumption

The usage of “tomorrow” assumes that tomorrow will exist. An honest assessment of life will prove otherwise. We do not know whether we will be alive tomorrow or whether the world will even exist. Perhaps a better expression would replace “tomorrow” with “today” because this would be fit the admonition of Christ to live for the same (Mat. 6:34).

A faulty focus

The usage of “the rest of your life” has a missed focus on what is ultimately important. While we would all wish successful and happy lives, this is not promised to be the case for us. Many of God’s servants were blessed to be “full of days” (1 Chr. 29:28, NASU), while others were put to death relatively young (such as Stephen (Acts 7:60), James (Acts 12:2), et al.). Christ Himself was reaching the prime of His life and the very cusp of adulthood in Jewish culture when He faced death. The rest of our life is nowhere near as important as the rest of our existence.

The Real Purpose

The truth about this phrase is that it is meant to encourage or exhort taking responsibility for one’s life now before the future is the present. This is a healthy philosophy if turned in focus from this life to the next. The truth is that we may not have an earthly tomorrow, but we will have a tomorrow somewhere. The choices we make now, whether to serve God or to not, have ramifications for eternity. Once eternity comes the exercise becomes futile. You will spend it in heaven with God forever, or you will spend it in hell separated from God forever.

Perhaps a fitting rephrase should be this: “Tomorrow May Be the First Day of Your Forever – Make Today Count!”

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