The good life.....

23 Jan

The good life . . .

Ask anyone. Even the super rich. Or ask the poorest person in the darkest slum in southeast Asia. Ask anyone in between and they will tell you that life is hard. No one can honestly say that life is a piece of cake. Some have it a little easier than others but it's really just a matter of degrees. Everyone faces challenges, frustrations, sickness, annoying people, deaths in the family, financial difficulties and much, much more. In a world full of so much sin and wrong is it possible to see beyond it to the what we would call the "good life"?
First, let's define the good life. Most people have in their minds what is good and often it's the opposite of whatever challenge they are facing at the time. "If I just had perfect health" or "If I made just an extra $500 per month" or "if I had just a different job". You get the idea. Or the good life is based on whatever we believe would make us the most comfortable, happy and secure. It's a vision of our ideal future.
This is an elusive concept. For example, we are often satisfied with what we have in life and would say that it is mostly good. We might like our job, our house or our car - until our neighbor/coworker/friend gets a better job/house/car and suddenly ours is not as good. So, better becomes the enemy of the good.
Sometimes we think that having more will make life good. We accumulate things and they add up but we actually get less happy. Studies have been done showing that people with fewer choices are happier than people who have many choices. There is a psychological factor in play here where we mourn missing out on things in contrast to having fewer choices, where we're just happy to have what little is available to us. Less is really more. Generally, people in poorer countries are happier overall. More stuff = more problems.
To truly live the good life we need to first define it according to Biblical values. The good life has less to do with stuff and health and more to do with how we look at the world around us. Do we see our lives as being filled with the love, peace and joy of God? Are we grateful for what God has given us or do we only look at what we lack? Life is hard but we have a better life than we often realize. Jesus never promised an easy life but to be with us as we went through it.
    If you want to know if you're living the "good life" first ask, does my definition have a ring of God's truth? Would He call it a good life? Does it line up with Biblical principles? What does Scripture say about a good life? Psalm 34:12–14 [12] "What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? [13] Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. [14] Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." For starters, if you want to see the good life, guard your speech and your behavior and seek peace.
    Next, are you letting the better become the enemy of good? Are you always looking around for what others have rather than expressing an attitude of gratitude for God's blessing in your life? God wants you to live the good life. But it's not necessarily the life our culture says is good. It's the life He says is good.

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