Sat, 29 Apr 2023 Feature Article

Principles For Living Long Life

Principles For Living Long Life

ONE THING which many people dread yet are unable to escape its sting is death. It is appointed unto man once to die; this makes death an inevitable occurrence in man's life. Corroborating this view in a recent article published in the DAILY GUIDE, Africanus Owusu Ansah quotes Haruki Murakani, a contemporary Japanese writer as postulating that, “Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” Lest anybody views death negatively.

He also quotes Mark Twain who teases “Death (the impartial friend) the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and refuge are for all-the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved. Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.”

However, a discourse of unavoidability of death does not suggest that humans should live careless life, refuse to take precautionary measures or embark on activities that can shorten their live span. God promises that people who believe in Him, live by His commands and merit His grace can live long life on earth.

Psalms 91:16 says, “With long life will I satisfy him, (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High) and shew him my salvation.” It is a fact that God has appointed our days, and has a plan for our lives, but do we really live to the fullest of the days ordained for us? A premature death cannot be a God-ordained death. It results from our carelessness and wanton disregard for divine principles and commands.

This is why many Christians die young for disrespecting God's principles and living the life that pleases them, thereby making them vulnerable to the attacks of the devil who steals, kills and destroys. But Jesus Christ died at a young age by the will of the Father after accomplishing His purpose on earth. To enjoy the long life God promises to believers, they must faithfully uphold His principles contained in His Word.

Fear And Obedience To God
The first principle I want to draw attention to is to fear and obey God. Proverbs 10:27 stipulates that, “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” Also, Proverbs 9:10-11 teaches us that, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.”

Lot’s wife is a good example of someone who clearly died for being disobedient; she never lived out the fullness of her appointed days. It was not God’s will for her to die prematurely. Her death was the consequence of her willful disobedience to God's warning not to look back (Genesis 19:17;26).

Honouring Your Parents
The second principle of God's Word is: “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth,” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Paul teaches this standard quoting from Exodus 20:12. To honour one's parents is to regard or treat them with admiration and respect, to obey and to give them special recognition. This makes children prosper and enjoy long life or have many years.

Interestingly, Ghanaian communal values also emphasize respect for and obedience to elders based on their age, sacred personality, experience, wisdom and so on. Thus, Akans have stressed that, “If you are taller than your father, it does not mean you are his equal.” And Proverbs 3:1-2 instructs: “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”

Living a Life of Wisdom
The third principle is to live a life of wisdom as it written: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour,” Proverbs 3:13-16

I believe that eating habits and exercises also affect our body’s ability to live a long and healthy life. The verse above speaks of wisdom lengthening our days, and I believe one area of our lives that we are supposed to exercise wisdom is in taking proper care of our bodies. The food we eat, water we drink, time we make to rest, among others.

Keeping Your Tongue from Evil
Keeping the tongue from uttering evil things is the fourth principle. “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (lies). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it,” (Psalms 34:12-14).

This should remind us about the need to avoid speaking lies, invoking curses, bearing false witnesses, issuing threats against other people and ourselves.

By James Quansah
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