A quick trip down the self-help aisle of your favorite bookstore suggests the way to living the good life is a positive outlook, positive self-esteem and a heavy dose of optimism. Even some well-known evangelical authors try to convince us that the key to a good life means understanding God wants us to have our best life now. Truly, it seems, it is usually the authors of such books who, through their royalties, realize the good life they proclaim.
Jesus teaches his followers a much different path to a full and rich life. Jesus calls God’s people to forsake the ways of the world by taking up a life of humble service for the sake of others. Denying ourselves and taking up the cross means we are to follow the example of our Lord, loving our neighbors and putting their needs ahead of our own. Such a life eschews the notion of living our best life now.
Christians know this earthly life is but a glimpse. It is not something to be treasured above all else, but to be lived in such a way that others may also receive a glimpse of the kingdom to come. Jesus says, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (v. 24). The good life we aspire to is the life of eternal joy in God’s kingdom. To this life, there is only one book that truly points the way.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, equip and empower us to follow you along the path to eternal life. Amen.