When I was a graduate student in psychology we had a health psych rotation that dealt specifically with transplantation and gastric bypass. The hospital felt that before someone could be approved for an organ transplant they had to pass a psychological screening in order to make sure that the organs were going to the people who were most likely to take care of themselves because there are far more people in need of organs than there are organs to be donated. When you are in graduate school in psychology you get used to writing lengthy reports and you realized that the result of the evaluation and what was contained in the report you were writing could follow that person the rest of their life. This was particularly true of transplantation because we gave approval or disapproval for the transplantation based on what we found psychologically. It is a sad thing to have to deny someone the transplant they needed to save their life. This was a life or death decision and it was sobering to have to deny someone a transplantation. You knew in the back of your mind that saying no to this person was saying yes to someone who had a higher likelihood of treating themselves well and so there was a positive side but you certainly hurt for those people who were going to get the bad news.
As I think back on those decisions I can’t help but think that maybe we make more life or death decisions than we even know about. In studying Romans the last several months it is very clear that Paul believes the decisions we make in life lead either to death or to life (Rom 6:11-14). So realize that as you deal with other people and as you make decisions in life that the consequences might be far greater than we realize. What the great Vizzini once said may hold true more often than we think that “death is on the line.” But what is more amazing is that God holds out an offer of life to those who would receive it. I think the accuser often does a fabulous job of convincing each one of us that the decisions we make in life only have mundane consequences. We have to be re-convinced that how we live can actually have life or death consequences.