Are You Living The Good Life?

Wisdom Hunter, 2017
Those who desire life and desire to see good day, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. – 1Peter 3:10-11

1 Peter, quoting from Psalm 34, is a letter written to those “who desire to love life and see good days.” At one level, this is a universal desire, is it not? Virtually everyone you meet is pursuing some version of “good days,” seeking peace, joy, and meaning in the way in which they live their lives. In America this vision is even woven into the very fabric of our society, protecting for each citizen the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet, as universal as this desire may be, I think if we dig a little deeper, we
may realize that making sense of this desire isn’t as simple as it might seem.
The pursuit of “good days” raises a series of tricky questions for us: how do we define “good days”? Is a good day for me the same as a good day for you? Perhaps more foundationally, the root question here is this: what is your vision of the good life?

As disciples of Jesus, there are core questions that we must wrestle with when talking about our vision of goodness and meaning in life. Has our vision of the good life been shaped by His teaching and witness? Is it motivated by our hope in His coming kingdom and the mission He has given to each of us? Or, as is often the case, has our vision of the good life been more deeply formed by our shared cultural loves? Every day we are told where true meaning and joy in life can be found. Some say it is in the acquisition of wealth and material comfort. Others say it is in the pursuit of beauty and fitness. Still, others say it is in the quest for knowledge and expertise. It seems that defining the good life may be harder than we think!

For Christians, a vision of the good life is found when we keep ourselves rooted in the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and His coming kingdom. It is found in a life lived fully united to God and experiencing the blessing of His presence, even in the midst of trial, suffering, or sorrow. The good life for Christians is not simply circumstantial happiness or carefree ease, but is instead rooted in the peace of knowing God and being known by Him. A truly good life knows the goodness and mercy of God and therefore rests secure in Him and trusts Him in and through every season of life. If you know the love of God in Jesus Christ and are filled with His transforming grace, you are living the greatest life ever imagined!