Sir 7:28 If thou hast a wife according to thy soul, cast her not off: and to her that is hateful, trust not thyself. With thy whole heart,
Sir 7:29 Honour thy father, and forget not the groanings of thy mother:
Sir 7:30 Remember that thou hadst not been born but through them: and make a return to them as they have done for thee.
Sir 7:31 With all thy soul fear the Lord, and reverence his priests.
Sir 7:32 With all thy strength love him that made thee: and forsake not his ministers.
Sir 7:33 Honour God with all thy soul and give honour to the priests, and purify thyself with thy arms.
Sir 7:34 Give them their portion, as it is commanded thee, of the firstfruits and of purifications: and for thy negligences purify thyself with a few.
Sir 7:35 Offer to the Lord the gift of thy shoulders, and the sacrifice of sanctification, and the firstfruits of the holy things:
Sir 7:36 And stretch out thy hand to the poor, that thy expiation and thy blessing may be perfected.
Sir 7:37 A gift hath grace in the sight of all the living, and restrain not grace from the dead.
Sir 7:38 Be not wanting in comforting them that weep, and walk with them that mourn.
Sir 7:39 Be not slow to visit the sick: for by these things thou shalt be confirmed in love.
Sir 7:40 In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.
I'm reading a book right now that deals with a variety of topics, but one chapter is dedicated to the idea we could die today. You could die reading this entry. I could die going to work. We're all going to die sometime, and that sometime could be just moments from now. As the author says, that isn't morbid, it is just the truth. Remembering that can help us avoid sin, in a few different ways.
First, if we're thinking about God and seeing God and what God is going to have to say about our behavior, we're less likely to do things that won't be pleasing. Sinning gets a lot harder when we connect it with eternity.
Second, it puts whatever we are doing into perspective. If we are annoyed with someone we meet at the store but ask ourselves, "Will this really matter in eternity?" it looks a lot less important. Most times, the answer to that question is no.
I gave someone some advice a few weeks ago and then realized I'd never once actually thought about it that way or even come close to doing it. When angry or when correcting someone, we need to remember that the most important thing is Jesus. Nothing else should match the enthusiasm or assertiveness we use in loving Jesus or telling others about Jesus or doing our work with Jesus. If I get so angry I exceed the level of energy I put into talking about Jesus, doesn't that speak volumes about my priorities? Thinking about the fact I'm going to die someday, and that they are going to die someday, really makes today's issues seem trivial.