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How to Live the Good Life in the New Year

For several years now, I’ve been writing about my “one word” for the year. I’ve chosen different words over the years to reflect what I hoped to focus on and accomplish that year. I think it’s a good practice to choose a word to help define what we want to do. However, if we don’t follow through with what we’ve chosen, then choosing a word will have no impact on our lives.

This year I’ve decided to go a different direction. Instead of choosing “one word” for the year, I’ve decided to choose a theme.

In 2017 I will focus on “Living the Good Life.”

Before I tell you more about how I will live “the good life,” I want to share what “the good life” does NOT mean.

Living “the good life” does not mean we are:

  • pursuing wealth
  • being famous
  • owning a luxurious car or home
  • taking fabulous vacations
  • having a ton of friends
  • doing what we want whenever we want

While having none of these things is necessarily wrong, together they don’t constitute what makes up a good life.

Jesus died on the cross for us so we could live “the good life.”

The verse I’ve chosen to focus on this year is John 10:10. The ESV records it this way:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

I also like how the New Living Translation says it:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

We are living “the good life” when our hearts change and we become more like Jesus.

Living “the good life” looks like this:

  • being generous
  • showing kindness
  • loving God and loving our neighbors (see Matthew 22:37-39)
  • empathizing with others because we all have sin we struggle with (no room for judgement)
  • counting others more significant than yourself (see Philippians 2:3-4)

It is my hope, prayer, and intention that I will live “the good life” by doing these things as I go about my daily activities. It doesn’t matter what goals I set for myself this year if I don’t live to become more like Jesus. All those goals and any success I may have with them will be pointless without a change in my character.

This means no matter what I do, my ultimate goal should be to live in a way that honors and pleases God by showing the world the love of Christ.

I hope this encourages you by helping you to realize you don’t have to do “great” things in the world’s eyes. Living like Jesus is more than enough to make an eternal difference in this world.

What are you focusing on this year?

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