For most of us, the definition of a “Good Life” comprises any of the following characteristics, among others: a. Being financially stable b. Luxury of time c. Complete and healthy family and d. A good reputation.
For the past few Sundays, the passages and devotionals I’ve been led to read have given me a different kind of perspective about what the Good Life really is all about.
Let me share with you the 3 keys which, I believe, do not only make up the Good Life, but more importantly, the Best Life we all want to have.
Let’s focus on one Bible passage: Matthew 6:1-4
A. Be a God-pleaser
I’m sure you have noticed it in kids-whether in your children or pamangkins – their desire to win your approval. It doesn’t matter if it is a dislocated drawing of a robot that looks rather like a mermaid, a child wants to let you see what he or she accomplished and be proud of it. Ever since we were little, we have always wanted at some point, to win the applause of people. However, Matthew had a different view. In verse 1, he made it a must for believers to check their motives whenever they practice their religious duties. Is it to gain the attention or validation of man, or rather to gain the full approval of the God of their salvation? Ask yourself: why are you going to Church? Why do you sing in the Choir? Why do you teach homeless kids about Christ for free?
B. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
This second key seems a little bit off the topic, don’t you think? But Matthew is talking figuratively in this matter. Verses 2-3 emphasizes that when we do a good deed, we must do it in such a way that not even our closest friend will know. If you want to give alms to the poor, don’t announce it. Don’t make a big show of it. If you want to help someone, do it in secret. If we seek the audience of people, then we don’t have anything left to expect from God, because we have been given our full reward, and that is the temporary and fleeting nods and cheers of others. But if we seek an audience of one which is His, then we can be sure to expect a greater, fuller and eternal reward from Him.
C. Nevermind What Others Think
You can’t please everyone. Cliché as it sounds, that’s reality. Many may mock your intentions. People may try to find fault in your actions. Keep doing good anyway. Keep being a servant of God than a servant of Man. Always be the “Rather”. As a true Christian, you were not called to conform to the ideals and ambitions of this earth. You are a pilgrim. This world is not your home. Say out loud to yourself : I’d rather seek to please God than people. I’d rather desire to be called a “good and faithful servant” than be praised as a world-renowned leader. I’d rather give up my reputation which only lasts as long as I’m alive, than live in a bubble of flattery by the world.
A Christian’s life has always been to be the salt and light of this world. Many will try to destroy you, defame you, even kill you, but your life is not lived for them in the first place. I have realized that even your friends may sometimes backfire on you. I have realized that sometimes you may encounter hostilities even from your own families. And that’s okay. The world does not know you at all anyway because you don’t belong in it- you belong in a heavenly home with a heavenly family, and that is with God. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the Best Life.