If you were asked to describe your quality of life what would say? Good? Bad? Average? What qualifications would you use to determine the answer to this heavy question that has seemingly simple answers but yet also has the potential to have a profound impact on the way we make decisions and set goals?
It seems that by society’s standards you can cross the “good” threshold by accomplishing personal and career success. So in theory if you can get married, have children (and raise them to be successful), afford a house, and climb up the career ladder of your choosing you have the perfect mix to have a good quality of life. I have two issues with this equation that both have the same solution:
Why must the worldly aspects of life dictate our quality of life? For many people, myself included, it is difficult if not impossible to achieve success in all of society’s standards for a “good” life. Why can we not have a good life in any scenario?
Why then can people who have checked off all of society’s standards for a good life still be unhappy or unsatisfied?
The solution? We cannot measure our quality of life through the imperfect lens of the world. Life is too complex to just settle for a scale that only judges our “accomplishments” and “failures” to determine happiness. Instead I propose we allow our perfect and complex God to provide us with guidance and reference to determine our quality of life.
Paul sums this concept up nicely in one of the most famous verses in Romans (12:2):
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So only through the will of God can we determine what is good.
The will of God can look different in everyone’s lives, but it boils down to earnestly seeking and putting God’s plan for your life ahead of your own desires and accomplishments. We must not only seek worldly success or we will fall into a trap of a cycle of pride and unfulfillment.
(Proverbs 16: 17-20)
“The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good. So how do we figure out what “good” life God has in store for us? We look to the word of God, the Bible, and seek guidance through prayer.
Accepting God’s mission for us might be terrifying and not look anything like what the world tells us a “good” life should look like. However if we just have the courage to have faith, God will present us with the opportunities and means to accomplish the good works he has planned for us to do.
It is never too late to make a change and transform your quality of life. What is holding you back? What obstacle are you using as a crutch to become complacent instead of overcoming? No one that God selected, besides Jesus, was perfect but they all overcame their fear and chose to serve. Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and ample family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Martha worried a lot (list taken from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren).
God has a plan for everyone to serve and if we only would embrace that plan we could infinitely improve our quality of life.
Choose this day whom you shall serve.
In Christ’s Love,
All verses taken from the English Standard Version Bible Copyright 2007