In such a world how do we define success, or at least getting all we can out of our lives?
Many would say that if you can't be rich be happy, if you can't be happy stay healthy, if you can't stay healthy do whatever it takes to make you happy. How much time do we spend trying to get the things we want the way we want them? What does it mean to live life to the full?
Ever heard the expression 'what goes in must come out'? I think this especially applies to the way we think and the way we live. If I only focus on the negative points of someone's character, the chances are that I won't like them very much; be they family, friends, acquaintances or even myself. If I don't like someone very much it will effect the way that I treat them and the amount of time I want to spend with them and, most definitely, how much I respect them. If the focus of my life is making myself happy that will greatly impact the way I spend my time.
I know that a great deal of how I live my life involves the way I see others and the amount of importance I place on the way they see me. Humans were designed with a need to interact with each other and the way this takes place can greatly affect the quality of our lives. So then how are we to live? How are we to interact?
I found the following quote very interesting, as it views our lives as a battlefield and gives us the armor and weapons we need to take a stand.
New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God" 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
I know out of most people I would probably look the most hilarious in a suit of armor, my hubby, on the other hand, would look aggressive and intimidating - quite the powerful soldier. I don't think either one of us, though, would do too well standing alone against a mighty enemy.
The person in this picture is most definitely very different to the one supplied to us from society's viewpoint - someone rich, healthy, powerful, successful and beautiful. This person has truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God and who prays fervently for themselves and others. So in other words, all their might comes from God and is sustained by God.
It's interesting to note that no time is given to describe their stature, beauty, wealth or popularity.
So what then are the most important things to remember in the way we live our lives?
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-29)
So essentially what matters, according to God's word, is to love God with *all our heart* and love (ie care for, treat) those around us as we do ourselves.
With these things in mind, how will you live your life today?