Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Living Our Best Life
Three questions reveal a person’s character, morals, and values.
1. Who is God?
2. Define Love.
3. How can you live your best life?
What is interesting about this set of questions is the answers will vary and be as unique as our fingerprints. The onset of mental maturity causes us to change our preferences, which is normal. The things we enjoyed at the age of 10 [exception is food preferences] are usually not the same in adulthood.
Let’s focus on “How can you live your best life?” With five senses, we gather sensory information that feeds our heart’s desires. And for most people their desires require money. Emotional immaturity [and greed] propels us to seek and value the things that are pleasure-based and bought with money. We associate having tangible things with giving us our best life.
In simple terms, if we can buy it, then we are living our best life. It is not surprising that most people living in developed countries agree that having wealth is the answer to living one’s best life. The surprise: “The U.S. has the highest suicide rate of any wealthy nation. Suicides account for 14 deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S.” https://www.commonwealthfund.org/press-release/2020/new-international-report-health-care-us-suicide-rate-highest-among-wealthy
A documentary on people living in a rural mountainous area of Nepal revealed their answers to living one’s best life. Yes, their lives are hard, but loving relationships with family and friends, respect, shelter, clothing, and the ability to provide for themselves produce the greatest appreciation of life. From our perspective, they are living in poverty. Yet, when we hear the laughter, see plentiful organic vegetable gardens growing in pesticide-free soil, love for the farm animals who provide necessary resources, and peaceful coexistence among family, it reveals that we are living in poverty. You will not find strife, dissatisfaction, or complaining. Depression, anxiety, and worries are non-existent, and their hearts are filled with love and gratitude.
Sadly, asking believers [who are the body of Christ] those three questions will also reveal many conflicting answers. “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
Many Christians have adopted the prosperity worldview. Sermons focusing on alleviating mental and emotional instability supersede sermons on the love and saving power of Jesus Christ. The root of the problem, we are striving to give ourselves the best life.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Abundant life includes love, peace, joy, and happiness given freely by Jesus Christ. We place ourselves in a spiritual dilemma of faithlessness and disobedience by pursuing our best life. Yes, God has given us the ability to dream, yet our pursuits must align with His will and plans for us to receive His blessing. The priority of having a thriving relationship with Jesus allows us to receive our best life now and for eternity.
Prayer: God, we are distracted by money and the pleasures of this life. Please open our eyes to spiritually discern and obey Your plans for our best life. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.