Here, come sit at my table. Drink some Wild West tea I snatched from my trip to Montana and let’s kick off our shoes. The lights are dimmed, the baby is asleep and I’ve got time. Time to sit with you, with our shoes off and tea steeped. The question for the night is, how can one live the good life?
Great question. One that could bring 6 billion different answers, one unique to each individual on this planet. An answer that guides and directs our steps, our purposes, our moments. One that some people search for their whole lives. I sit across from you and simply share that I believe to live a good life – a meaningful, impactful, respectable, soul-fulfilling life – is to live your life for the sake of someone else. What a paradigm. To have the best life you possibly can, is to give your life away. Although this life is never easy, it is always best. If I’ve piqued your interest enough, here are three steps that will guide you along the way.
To live a good life – a meaningful, impactful, respectable, soul-fulfilling life – is to live your life for the sake of someone else.
1. Relinquish Your Life
To live the good life, you must first come to terms with your own story. Your story of scars and circumstances. The circumstances and circumcisions you’ve gone through where God has cut away at your embittered and selfish heart, you must realize that those moments are His and He was in and through them. The parts where your scars tell a painful story, but also of healing – those stories are also His. The parts where God has been glorified through your victories, those aren’t for you to trophy on your shelf because those parts that make up the whole are not truly yours– they are His parts and His story, and you are a wonderful supporting role. And because it’s His story and not yours, you must relinquish whatever control you think you have on His story and release it with open hands, palms up. His story of your life involves Him as the main Character, not you – do you see it? Have you made your story about Him? Perhaps it’s time.
2. Share Your Life
Secondly, you must let people in on this joint story, His and yours. Let them in on the details of your life. Be vulnerable and authentic and let your walls down. You’d be amazed at what can happen when one person puts themselves out in the open – vulnerable and available for attack or ridicule. Yet because of the bravery of one, the rest are given the freedom and subconscious permission to do the same. Invite others to be a part of His story – the one that is the most glorious story of all. Invite them in to the heart and center.
Because of the bravery of one, the rest are given the freedom and subconscious permission to do the same.
3. Give Your Life Away
Lastly, a life spent on self is a life wasted but a life spent on others is a life fulfilled. No doubt to sacrifice one’s preferences for the sake of another, deserving or not, is one of the hardest battles humans fight. It is a battle waged everyday, tugging at our hearts. Might we agree that the glorification of self is our easiest temptation? But, when those fleeting moments pass, and the gift of selflessness has been consciously, intentionally, yet healthily chosen in any capacity – time, talents, treasures – the war has been won, and the soul smiles. If you’ve ever given of yourself, especially when you really didn’t want to, but knowing it is all for their good and His glory, you’d likely kick off your shoes, sit down at my table and eagerly share with me your stories of giving, serving, and fulfillment. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
This is how you live the good life: ripped holes in the knees of your jeans from all the praying you did for your people, hands cracked dry from the dishes you washed in your life without complaint, pocketbook empty from wisely stewarding your finances, ears ringing from those conversations where you asked the hard questions, and the soul filled to the brim and overflowing with gratitude for the thousand gifts that have added value and purpose to your life, simply by giving it away.
May we understand that our stories are ultimately about Him and what He chooses to do in and through us. May we invite people in and ask them to stay. Be near in the details and be loved through them. And may we live the greatest life of all by giving ours away.
In this lies the ultimate paradox that those who truly give their lives away, actually receive the greatest gift of all. The last are really first (Matthew 20:16) the poor are really rich (Matthew 5:3), and those who lose their life, for His sake, will find it (Matthew 10:39).
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