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How do you know you've found the good life?

Updated: May 28

(Editorial Note: This post was converted from a sermon manuscript into a blog post with the help of AI.)

What is the good life? It's a question that has intrigued humanity for millennia, transcending cultures, generations, and philosophical paradigms. In our modern age of self-discovery and individualism, the quest for a fulfilling existence has taken on new dimensions, often leading us down diverse paths in pursuit of happiness and meaning.

Recently, I found myself pondering this timeless inquiry and decided to seek guidance from an unlikely source—ChatGPT. ChatGPT offered insights into a diversity of perspectives surrounding the good life. From material success to meaningful relationships, from personal growth to inner peace, the concept varies greatly depending on individual values and aspirations. Yet, amidst this diversity, the one theme that emerged was the self. In today's world, the good life is defined by individual taste and values.

When taste and values are at the heart of the good life, living becomes about aligning our actions with our true selves and embarking on a personal journey of self-reflection and growth. But is the good life truly only something we create for ourselves, through our self-defined values?

One place we can look to answer this question is the ancient, Hebrew song book of wisdom, the book of Psalms, and we need not look further than Psalm 1. In this Psalm, we see the heart of wisdom, a human longing for a life rooted in something greater than oneself. What is this thing greater than ourselves that we ought to be rooted in? The law of the Lord. This Psalm likens following the law of the Lord to a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season.

But amidst the plethora of voices clamoring for our attention, how do we discern which God to follow? In the Gospel of John, we find clarity in the words of Jesus himself. He proclaims that he has revealed the Father to his disciples, inviting them into a deeper relationship with God.

Jesus, as the ultimate witness of God's truth, offers us a transformative vision of the good life. His teachings and example illuminate the path of authentic living, calling us to embrace a life of love, compassion, and service. Through his words and deeds, Jesus reveals the profound truth that when our truth aligns with his, we find true fulfillment and joy.

As we journey through life, navigating its twists and turns, may we be guided by the wisdom of Scripture and the example of Jesus. May we seek to live authentically, rooted in the truth of God's word, and may we find the good life not in fleeting pleasures or external accolades, but in the deep, abiding peace that comes from walking in alignment with God.

Let us heed the words of Jesus: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." In him, we find the ultimate fulfillment of our deepest longings, and in following his example, we discover the true essence of the good life.

Watch the full sermon from which this post was adapted below.


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