Friday, August 06, 2010

Living the Good Life

We’re often asked how we came up with our name, Living Well.

We love that question because it gives us the opportunity to share what living well really means. Anytime you ask someone if they would live to live well, they will almost always answer “yes.” Any other answer might just be foolish. But, many don’t really know how to live well or what living well actually means.

We recently read a piece by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California, which relates to this thought of living well. His topic was “Living the Good Life.” Rick says that although “living the good life” is a well-worn phrase, many people don’t really know how to define the “good life.”

He states that some people confuse the good life with “looking good.” Our society certainly idolizes beauty and we spend billions every year on beauty products, plastic surgery, dieting, hair styling, the latest styles in clothing, and the list goes on…. Many are preoccupied with appearance – as if that is all that really matters in life.

Others equate the good life with “feeling good.” Their goal is the minimize pain and maximize pleasure. And, they will use whatever it takes to achieve it: amusements, virtual realities, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, pornography, and again the list goes on……

Did you know that the pleasure and entertainment industry is now the largest industry in America? Pastor Warren says that the old 60’s phrase, “if it feels good, do it” still is in effect today!

For many, the “good life” is confused with “having the goods.”

Their main goal in life is to obtain as many goods and goodies as possible. They make as much money as they can and then spend it, sometimes even faster than they make it! There’s an old bumper sticker that says, “The one with the most toys wins.” That pretty much sums up their view of the “good life.”

Warren concludes that none of these three lifestyles actually result in the “good life.” No matter what we do, we can’t stop the aging process. Pleasure should be a by-product of the “good life,” not the goal. And, the greatest things in life are not things!

What is the "good life?"

You are God’s workmanship, created….to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. Ephesians 2:10

Living the “good life” is discovering and becoming exactly what God created you to be.

When you use your life to help others – “to do good” – and know and trust God, you will feel good.

Jesus said, “but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14) The presence of Christ (The Living Well) in your life allows goodness to overflow from your life.

That’s why we say “living well” is not a lifestyle ....
it’s a life source – Jesus Christ!”

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Someone once described the contrast between a good life and a godly life as the difference between the top of the ocean and the bottom. On top, sometimes it's like glass -- serene and calm -- and other times it's raging and stormy.

But hundreds of fathoms below, it is beautiful and consistent, always calm, always peaceful.

Bill McCartney