How do you define what the full life is?
Life is full of so much, yet it is easy to have this false idea of what the full life actually looks like. We are all just bunch of people wandering through life, trying to have it all figured out. We tend to look to the wrong things in our pursuit.
We have this tendency define our future based on what our culture is telling us a full life is – also known known as the American dream. This dream tells us that we need to work harder, be richer, and pursue what makes us happy. Lives are dedicated to education, not to seek truth and knowledge, but in order to move up in the success ladder. I’m not saying you’re not allowed to work hard and to want to be successful. It is dangerous, though, when we start to pursue temporary things.
We have the right to pursue happiness, but what should we really be pursuing?
What we need to be pursing is joy. Believe it or not, there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is defined as an emotion of contentment and satisfaction that is caused by earthly experiences or material objects and is based on outward circumstances. Joy on the other hand is defined as a stronger, yet less common, feeling of happiness that is based on inward circumstances. It is a spiritual feeling of closeness to God that results from witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice. It is an inward peace and contentment that is lasting.
Happiness is self-seeking and temporary and joy is self-less and long-lasting. Happiness is based on outward circumstances and joy is based on inward circumstances. The fruits of the spirit are Love, Joy. Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-control. The bible says nothing about pursuing happiness. Joy doesn’t come from focusing on the temporary, but rather the eternal.
The American dream tells us to focus on ourselves, yet God tells us to focus on others. How crazy is it to think that when we focus on others, we will actually experience more contentment and satisfaction? Isn’t it ironic how that works out? It’s easy to see now why so many people miss this focus in life.
We need to remind ourselves that we can’t spend our lives focused on pursuing after what the world wants. The American dream is misleading as it lusts after selfish desires and temporary happiness, which aren’t all bad things, however they can take our focus off of what God has planned. He has designed each and every one of us with a purpose, which I know sounds cliché but it’s true! Rather than focusing so broadly on the future and what you want, look at where you are because God is using that.
Don’t let a day go to waste. If you learn about God and how He has designed you, you will thrive no matter where you are. As you apply your passions to invest in others and serve, you will begin to experience the fullness of life that God has created for you.
So often people commit to the wrong things, like the American dream- the patterns of this world. You are called to do the things that God has called you to do. He will line what you are passionate about up with His plan for your life because it’s all part of his perfect design. Take time to reflect and think about what your are passionate about. If you don’t know what that is, ask God to reveal that to you.
As you start to figure out what some of the things you are passionate about are, start committing to them. Let God renew your mind, pray for a clear mindset for him to reveal great things. Figure out what your passionate is and commit to it.
As you live in accordance to Gods will, you will experience more joy as you allow God to lead you and place you where He wants you.
Don’t pursue happiness.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” –Romans 12:2