Common Ground Ministries


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Finding the Good Life

Posted by Jon McNeel on

We live in a very diverse culture with people from all backgrounds and faiths and families and fortunes. But there is one thing that is true for almost everyone: we desire “The Good Life.” The definition of that may be different for each person, but the vast majority of people today desire to live “better than their parents.” The strategies implored to gain that life are just as different as the people who implement them. For one person, their dream of the good life means they will have to get married and have kids. For another, their dream of the good life means they will be single for as long as possible. One person finds hope for the good life in working seven days a week, scratching and clawing their way up the corporate ladder. Others find the good life in relaxation. They sit at work longing for the weekend so that they can simply do nothing.  

The sad truth is that “The Good Life” is simply an allusive dream, and no one ever really finds it in this world. For those that work seven days a week, they get to the end of life and realize that they missed everything along the way. They work and work only to find that their dream of “The Good Life” was never realized because they never stopped to enjoy what they already had. Those who thought marriage or singleness would fulfill their longing for the good life are met with stress and worry or regrets and loneliness. And in the end they look back on a life where their dreams were never satisfied.  

But here is the thing: there is nothing wrong with working hard or enjoying rest. There is great fulfillment in marriage and children, or embracing singleness - but only when our hearts are focused on the right thing. If our focus is on ourselves, then we will never be satisfied. But when your focus is on Jesus, then everything we do has meaning and purpose. If you are looking to have the good life, then strive first to know who created life.  

Many work all their days for something that never comes to fruition. Or they wish for something or work for their dream and it comes true, only to find that the fulfillment of that dream did not meet the need within their soul. But there is One who fulfills all our deepest desires, and by knowing Him we find “The Good Life.”  

In John chapter 10 Jesus was talking to a group of people about the faults of fake spirituality. The religious leaders of the day did not truly care for the people they were to serve. Their real focus was only what they could get for themselves. Jesus used the analogy of the sheep and the shepherd to make this point. He said in verse 10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. But I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” If we want to have a fulfilled life - literally to have “The Good Life” - we need to know the author of life, Jesus.  

There is nothing wrong with having a good job, or even enjoying the work we do, but our work can never truly satisfy us. There will always be more to gain, more to do. But when our focus is on Jesus and who He is, then doing our best at work becomes fulfilling because we are doing it for Him.

Are you striving for “The Good Life” today? Are you working and longing for something that so far has alluded you? Then perhaps your focus is on the wrong thing. Instead of seeking the good life for yourself, and spinning your wheels in the process, look to the One who is the author of life and see that He is good. He will give you fulfillment. He will give you joy. He will give you the peace that no worldly possession can give. If you are seeking the good life today, realize it was there all along waiting for you… it is found in Jesus.  

Tags: fulfillment, joy, peace