What is your life? The ominous question found in James 4:14b seems to appear as a vague notion or question that provokes philosophical thought, or perhaps navel gazing. One could imagine the intellectuals of our day standing about in the proverbial pantheon of debate exchanging ideas about what exactly is life? Who gives life? Why do we ask what is our life? One could even imagine a plethora of nonsensical rationalizing and justification of absurdity in the arena of thought.
But simply stated, the question is rhetorical, and the author answers his own question. Your life is but a vapor. Considering this statement should take little time. If you've spent much on it already, you are wasting precious time. Spending time pondering what our life is beyond that which Scripture indicates, is simply stated, a waste. When asked what your plans are, your hopes, aspirations, or desires you wish to see accomplished, all of it is vein if not done in light of Christ's redemptive work on the cross.
Our justification is what gives purpose to any effort we put forth to accomplish any deed. The Savior Jesus Christ should be our life, if our life is not in sacrifice to Him, it is a waste. When faced with this question one could think long and hard about past achievement, future aspiration, or present worry. We of course must deal with all of those things, but only in accordance to the daily carrying of our cross, bearing the reproach of Christ, and going outside the camp to Him. That is our life.