How do you define “the good life”? What is it and how do you get it? I did an internet search on this very question. Here’s what I found:
“When I was 19 I thought the good life was having a boyfriend, having a good time, partying, having nice clothes. Now that I am 51, it is much different. I would say: being free of pain, accepting yourself the way you are but always being ready to learn and improve, and having the ability to laugh at yourself and life.“
“Having good health, good friends, and a great family.”
“Lots of love, lots of laughs, and lots of good wine.”
“Having freedom to choose what you do with your time and the good health to enjoy your time fully. Having the opportunity to prosper and friends/family you can trust around you for support and enjoyment. Of course included is a roof over your head, an adequate income, fresh water, food and air.”
“Accepting yourself for who you are. Being able to discern. Putting God at the top of your pyramid. Being honest with yourself and others.” (Quotes obtained from answers.yahoo.com/question).
Let me ask you again: How do you define the good life? Do those of us who seek to follow Jesus really know and embrace God’s definition of the good life? Before recently I’d never sought a specific, gut-honest answer to that question. In doing so, I’m realizing how our answer reveals the deep desires of our heart. It reveals what we’re really living for.
In Scripture, good is synonymous with glory, God’s glory. Good is anything that displays God’s glory: His beauty, His perfection, His righteousness, His love, His joy… all that comprises Him. If we believe God’s definition of good, then:
A good life is one that knows and displays God’s glory.
Consistent with this conclusion is a statement I found in a Greek dictionary. A glory-filled life is:
A life into which one is accorded the fullest enjoyment of the admiration and honor of God.
That’s deep! Don’t read over it too quickly. This should thrill us! It’s a game changer, a life changer! It means living the good life isn’t contingent on our circumstances. In fact, good as God defines it is often obtained through suffering and circumstances we would typically define as anything but good.
Look at how Paul described his life in 2 Corinthians 6:10:
sorrowful — yet always rejoicing
poor — yet making many rich
having nothing — yet possessing everything.
Uncovering how we really (deep in our hearts) define the good life is often best discovered in what we believe comprises a good day. My answer was telling:
My heart is at peace.
I have fellowship with God.
My relationships are in a good place.
I’ve got some faulty thinking. Not that any of these desires are wrong, but do they really constitute a good day? Will they lead to God’s definition of a good life? For one, I wasn’t inserting God’s definition of good in my desire for relationships to be in a good place. But what if we did?
The apostle Paul wanted nothing in life — not fame, fortune or even ease — if it hindered him from knowing Jesus:
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Philippians 3:8-9).
Paul knew something we must know: Jesus is the full expression of God’s glory. Knowing Jesus is what gives life. It’s / He’s the path to living the glory-filed life. If we define the good life as God does, we can have it — right now — no matter our circumstances, for we can always have more of Jesus! A good day is a day in which we know Jesus and make Him known.
I invite you to consider how you are defining “the good life”. Ask yourself what makes a day a good day. Let God reveal any faulty thinking. Then join me — oh how I hope you will join me — in understanding and aligning your thinking to God’s thinking through Way #28 of 52 Ways to Glorify God.
Embrace the good life!
Embrace the true good life by embracing God’s life — by using everything in this life to know the glory-filled life of God in you. Let Him use everything in your life to shine His glory through you.