THE BEST LIFE EVER
As you will note later in this piece, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is credited by his student Plato with the following observation:
The unexamined life is a life that is not worth living.
If you or I wish to live lives that we were created to live, we have no choice but to examine our lives by asking the following five questions.
Anyone who will seriously consider these questions and seriously seek the answers all of which have been provided to us in the Holy Scriptures will live THE BEST LIFE EVER.
1 . Who Am I?
I am the child of a KING, and thus I am a PRINCE. My FATHER is the KING of an eternal Kingdom and I am one of His sons. I am loved by HIM and I have been given all the rights, blessings, and privileges that are due a PRINCE.
“For you are all sons of GOD through faith in CHRIST JESUS.” (Galatians 3:26)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of GOD.” (Romans 8:14)
2. What Am I?
I am a magnificent creation because I was created by a loving GOD in His image. I am two beings in one body.
I am a spiritual being and a physical being.
My physical being was created to be a temple, a dwelling place for my CREATOR. It was to enable me to rule over the earth and subdue it.
Through the five senses I was given, it is the means whereby I am able to enjoy all the physical blessings I have been given by my CREATOR. It is what allows me to procreate.
My spiritual being (or nature) is what enables me to be in relationship with my Creator and HIM with me. It is in and through this spiritual nature that the HOLY SPIRIT is able to guide me and help me do the things I am unable to do for myself and to truly live the life I was created to live .e.g. THE BEST LIFE EVER.
3. WHERE AM I?
Where am I, is a relationship question. According to the record we have, it is the first question ever asked.
Where am I in relationship to GOD, to myself, and to others. Is my relationship to GOD, through CHRIST and in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT the basis of my life?
Where do I need to be? Am I there? If not, why not?
What am I doing that is keeping me from being where I need to be.
4. WHY AM I?
The Bible says that the greatest commandment is:
to love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second greatest commandment is for me to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:37 & 38)
If and when I do obey these two commandments, I fulfill the reason I was created and that was to love GOD and to be loved by HIM and to glorify HIM.
The Bible also says that:
GOD is love(1 John 4:8)
We must understand and believe that GOD has an infinite capacity to love and to be loved. That is why I am one-of-kind. That is why I am unique. There has never been another human being exactly like me and there never will be.
Why? Because HE gave me a unique ability to love HIM like no other creature HE ever created could love HIM. And I challenge anyone reading this to consider this, if HE knows the number of hairs on my head, which HE does, and if HE knows when a sparrow falls from its nest, which HE does, then HE most certainly knows when I am and when I am not loving HIM as He created me to love HIM.
5. HOW AM I?
St. Augustine of Hippo is reported to have said:
we can only know God to the extent that we can know ourselves
The How Am I? question is the challenge. In the quest to live a life that is worthy of it being created in the first place, we have to check-in with ourselves, every once in a while and simply ask, how am I doing?
Life has a way of slipping away from us sometimes. No one lives the life they were created to live accidentally. According to his student Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates made the following observation:
The unexamined life is a life not worth living.
Consequently, I must continually monitor my life. I must continually ask: How am I doing? Am I living this life I have been given with intentionality, with purpose, and with worthy objectives?
Does my life honor and glorify my CREATOR?
The writer Ernest Hemmingway was successful at an early age. While being interviewed by a journalist he was asked: “What, in your opinion, Mr. Hemmingway, is one of the most essential traits that any young man needs to be successful”. His answer was: He needs to be a first-class crap detector.
Once I decided I wanted to live the BEST LIFE EVER, I decided I needed to try to be one of those, beginning with myself.
OH! REALLY? Hmm
P.S.(1) Over the last 40 years I have spent countless hours teaching and mentoring men in prison. Almost without exception, they all suffered from low self-esteem which, also virtually without exception, was the underlying reason they were incarcerated in the first place. Those experiences serve as the genesis of this piece.
P.S. (2) We recently lost a friend who, either consciously or unconsciously, checked all of the above boxes and lived THE BEST LIFE EVER….his name was Doug Smith.