The Secret to Loving Life
“Debbie, you don’t really have nice things, but you seem so happy.” Unconsciously my jaw dropped as my neighbor, who had stopped by for a visit, viewed my little living room. Her house was different. Though we lived in the same condominium complex, her “everything” was quite lavish. Dramatic curtains not only covered the windows but the walls as well. Her furniture was ornate and extravagant.
What she intended as a compliment sounded rather pious in retrospect. My furniture at the time had come with the condo, and although simple, I was satisfied with how homey it felt. Although my neighbor’s comment was demeaning, my (second) reaction was to tip my head back and laugh. During those first years as we started our church in Hawaii, I appreciated my house and loved my life with my husband and three daughters. I knew true living was not found in what I could gather or how much it cost. Instead, I had discovered life with purpose and love is where true happiness is found.
Frank Crane was a Presbyterian minister and a writer, born in 1861. He wrote about a common misconception that having more money will bring us more happiness. He explained that if we are not satisfied with life, it’s not because we lack the means to satisfy our desires, but because we lack desires. Not that we don’t have enough to satisfy our tastes, but we don’t have enough tastes.
Some people have little else in life besides money. It seems like they have it all, but upon close observation, we learn real riches come from the ability to experience and enjoy life well.
When we think about a life well enjoyed, we often picture one free of difficulties or needs. We might find ourselves imagining, “If only I had ____________, then my life would be better.” It could be finances or a different upbringing, job, or circumstance.
But what elements are necessary to love the life we lead? What are the ingredients to a good life? Is it wealth? Absolutely. But there are different kinds of wealth.
I Timothy 6:17-19 describes three types of wealth:
- “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” Spiritual wealth does not come from riches, but God gives us a life to enjoy.
- “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.” Those who find their life’s purpose in serving others experience spiritual wealth. It’s not about what we get, but what we give. Paul said they are ready to give and willing to share. Wealth is found in living a life of selflessness.
- “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” Spiritual wealth is the promise we have of eternal life. On that day, when we stand before God, worldly possessions will mean nothing.
How do some people possess an upbeat, positive disposition while others see only the negative? Fear and worry are constant companions of one, while joy and laughter easily emanate from the other. I believe the good in life is not found in near-perfect conditions; it is found when you look for it.
Our outlook and how we process life’s events determine whether or not we will love our life.
These are the keys to loving life:
Follow the Philippians 4:4 principle to prevent a constant barrage of negativity from bombarding your thoughts and “gird up the loins of your mind” (I Peter 1:13); then, you will make room for joy.
Joy is vital to our walk with God. It frees us to become the person God intends us to be. Joy is the outward result of inward faith. If we view our circumstances through the filter of God’s Word and His promises and submit our worries and fears to our heavenly Father, we can access the joy He offers.
The motto of Today’s Christian Girl, a ministry for girls ages 10 to 18, is “Livin’ Right and Lovin’ Life.” When you live according to the precepts of God’s Word, you will absolutely love your life!
God intends for us to enjoy life and be happy. “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15, NIV). As a matter of fact, our joy comes straight from Heaven. “Now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself.” (I Peter 1:8, TLB).
Life is meant to be savored, enjoyed, and loved. Look for your blessings. Change your perspective. See the good, and you will love life!
Debbie Sanders is blessed to minister beside her husband, Jonathan, in her favorite place— the islands of Hawaii. Together they pastor The Rock Oahu. Debbie is the director of Today’s Christian Girl, a ministry for girls ages 10-18.