Quantity Or Quality? By Philip North

The following is a directly quoted statement from Michael Medved, author of the book “Right Turns,” and a radio talk show host: “Americans spend an average of 29 hours watching television—-which means in a typical life span we devote 13 uninterrupted years to our TV sets! The biggest problem with mass media isn’t low quality—-it’s high quantity. Cutting down just an hour a day would provide extra years of life—-for music and family, exercising and reading, conversation and coffee.” On this same note, I remember one of my teachers from the 7th grade, Mr. Richter, saying from time to time that the “quality” of one’s school work was much more important than the “quantity” of it. How ever much on target these two aforementioned men were! While living as much as 100 years on this earth would definitely constitute a large “quantity” of life, living all those years in disobedience to God would certainly not compose much “quality” of such.

Jesus himself taught this very thing. In John 10:10, he declared, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.” A well known gospel preacher was talking with a man one day, attempting to get him interested in coming to church. The man’s reply was, ” I haven’t got time for church. I’ve got a business to operate, and I have to operate it seven days a week.” Well, he did! One might say this man had the disease of T.B. I don’t speak of “tuberculosis,” but rather, “too busy.” Some poeple are so busy making a “living,” that they end up never making a “life” for themselves. There’s a difference. A “living” would indicate a mere survival; just an existence; that which compiles a certain “quantity.” A “life” would be where the “quality” part comes in, for this would be that of contentment, depth, richness, and hence, meaning! Ask yourself this: Is “latitude” of life really more important than “longitude” of life? While it’s always recognizable and commendable to live beyond the average human age mentioned in Psalm 90:10, that being 70-80 years, is it not so more more recognizable and commendable to live those accountable years on this planet earth in service to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, thus, making Heaven your home, come eternity? Most assuredly! Die uprepared to meet God, and you’ve lost it all. The value of the soul outweighs anything and everything else, bar none.

When reading the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon tells us all through the book what life is like, as he worded it, “under the sun;” or, this life on earth. After saying that all earthly living is vanity, exploring all that makes up man’s wisdom, his folly, his works—-great or small, his business transactions, his pleasures, his good times, his bad times, his successes, his failures, and his mistakes, along with the evil and good people who make up humanity, Solomon closes out the book by saying in chapter 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

The beloved James teaches us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is a vapor, that appeareth for a litttle time, then vanisheth away.” Just like any particular vapor exists for a mere short while, then vanishes away, never to be in existence again, so is life the exact same way, James says. Much of mankind constantly seeks to make a name for himself, so he can leave a mark in this world. This is many an individual’s wish. To a certain extent, this isn’t wrong, if this “mark” is accepted by God. However, many more times than not, within a generation or so after death, an individual is no longer remembered, as those who knew him have too passed away. King Solomon also stated, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten” (Ecclesiates 9:5). All physical and material life is temporary, but all that pertains to the spiritual—-life or death, is eternal! So again, it’s “quantity” versus “quality” here. Obviously, no materialist will care about “quality,” but instead, only “quantity.”

Whatever title, occupation, popularity, earthly gain, or social standing is gained in this earthly life, it all stops at the grave! Life still goes on with all the rest of the world when you and I depart from this life, as it did before we entered into it. Nobody is indespensable. Even when a U.S. President is assassinated, life may slow down for awhile, due to the impact of such an awful impromptu, but still, it never, ever stops!

May we all live good, laugh hard, and love strongly while on this earth. However, a real life of quality only comes from serving the good Lord of Heaven. May such be the case with all who read this article. From time to time in life, “Stop and smell the roses,” as the saying goes. You see, God meant for you and I to do that, as that is a good time to assess and ponder our priorities, and so, channel our lives in the direction of the eternal glory of which He wishes us to partake.

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