Recapitulated—-What have we learned?
Recapitulate means to summarize and state again the main point.
These past few weeks we’ve been attempting to define what “best life” looks like. We began by evaluating best life from a worldview. In fairness to this overall process, we also considered the biblical perspective. Before moving forward, a decision was needed as to which view believers were to follow.
It was at this point that a decision was needed. Believers must draw a spiritual dividing line in order to insure that the influence of the flesh and the world cannot remove our distinctive difference.
Using the Bible as the final authority on what we embrace and follow in our lives, believers are to follow God’s definition of best life based on our new life and new allegiance to God (2 Cor. 5:15-17). We are also to focus on eternal things and “life outcomes” that are god-honoring.
Time to Decide
Based on what we have learned, there are two questions that may help us finalize our description of best life.
The first question was asked and answered last week: “What does God say about best life?”
The second question is this. Of the two views (worldview and biblical view), which one is more likely to satisfy the longing that we may have? Self-directed or Christ-directed?
If we reach self-actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, are we guaranteed that we will be content and fulfilled? Those we see as “having it all” still deal with dissatisfaction in their life. Self-actualization may not give all it promises as evidenced by the incidents of depression, substance abuse, and suicide among great artists, celebrities, and business moguls.
For those of us who identified with the things people wanted in life, the question is the same. Does possession of any or all those items on the “wish list” guarantee contentment? Remember there was only one tangible item on the list—money. The rest were intangibles—unable to be touched or grasped but understood or felt in the heart.
Let’s find a Best Life SME (Subject Matter Expert)
At this point, what might be helpful would be to interview someone who had not only pursued best life but also attained it. They had reached self-actualization and the one tangible (money) on the “10 Most Wanted” list.
In addition, this person should be familiar with “spiritual” options. Let me introduce our special SME, King Solomon, the king of the United Kingdom of Israel.
Solomon was a fabulously wealthy and sensible king of the United Kingdom of Israel who succeeded his father, King David. Solomon was the biblical king most famous for his wisdom. God granted Solomon not only wisdom but also great wealth and fame because he did not ask for self-serving rewards. (1 Kings 3:7-14).
Solomon authored the book of Ecclesiastes, in which, he built the case to show that the pursuits of this world are vanity. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2). Vanity in this context is the quality of being worthless or futile. Ecclesiastes is located with the other wisdom literature of the Old Testament.
Chapter after chapter, Solomon (“The Preacher” as he identifies himself) presents the case that the vanities of this world are insufficient to make us happy. He contrasts the vileness of sin, and its certain tendency to make us miserable, with the wisdom of being religious (godly and god-honoring). Our well-being and satisfaction are only possible through our allegiance to God and our love for man.
In closing, Solomon, by way of exhortation, directs his readers (and us 21st century believers) to remember our Creator, to fear Him, and to keep His commandments. Solomon gives no recommendation to pursue best life.
God alone can satisfy our hierarchy of needs—basic, psychological, and self-fulfilling. God is our Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:14). Our intangible desires are readily available through God’s Spirit (Gal. 5: 22-23).
King Solomon, the Apostle Paul, and more importantly, Jesus have given us the essence of what best life looks like. It is not a list of “dos and don’ts” but a standard of life.
Livin’ our best life is…
- a life style that acknowledges the reality of God. God is the Creator and Source of all life who has been uniquely made known to us through His Son Jesus Christ. We live confidently in the reality of His presence, His power, and His provision. (Acts 17:28)
- a life choice that recognizes the authority of God in our life. God’s will and purpose for our lives is revealed in His Word and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We choose to trust in the goodness and greatness of God to direct our life’s journey. (Gal. 2:20)
- a life vocation that commits to the purpose God has chosen for us. We are persuaded that the Kingdom of God has arrived in the coming of Jesus Christ and is imminent in Jesus’ return. We, therefore, focus our energies on doing those things that honors and glorifies God. (Phil. 3:12-14)
Livin’ our best life can only be realized through a relationship with God and in Christ Jesus. Through this relationship, we have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4) and blessings that exceed our expectations (Ep. 1: 3-14). Therefore, in Christ, we are livin’ our best life.