“People want riches; they need fulfillment.”
–Robert Conklin, American educator and author
Last at bat, I said that simplicity is about constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our lifestyle choices to free up time, energy, and money so that we can do the things that bring fulfillment. In this post, I want to explore the idea of fulfillment. Everybody in this world has their own idea of what fulfillment looks like. And if our world was devoid of God, it would probably make sense to come up with your own idea and reach for it (#YOLO, anyone?). But as believers in Jesus, it’s important for us to get a proper Biblical perspective of fulfillment or we’ll go off in our own selfish ways even if we successfully redeem our time, energy, and money through simplicity. I cringe at the thought of Christians using their new found time to vacation half the year in Tahiti, or using their new found energy to pursue a life of entertainment, or using their new found money to drive sports cars. Bad dog, stop it. We’ll explore two key Biblical passages that should frame how we are to look at fulfillment from a Christian perspective.
Ask any Christian what their top three priorities in life are and you’ll get a short and sweet list that basically looks like this:
It’s the rare Christian who doesn’t put God at the top of their list of priorities. (Whether or not this comes out in practice is a different matter. The point is that we desire to put God at the top of the list even though we may fail to do so in reality.) We’ll talk about family and church much later in this blog. But for now, I want to focus on God. Our greatest fulfillment in life should come from knowing God and doing the things that greatly matter to Him. Period. Exclamation point. Asterisk. As promised, here are the two Biblical passages that will help frame Christian fulfillment. They should look oddly familiar to you like an old friend you haven’t seen in a gazillion years.
“You shall 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: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31, ESV
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Matthew 28:18-20, ESV
It’s vital for us to understand that these are the things that greatly matter to the God that we believe in. And therefore, they should somehow greatly matter to us as well. Let this simmer in your brain for a bit like a sunny side up. In the next post, we’ll continue exploring this idea.
In preparation for the next post, ask yourself this question: if money wasn’t an issue, what would you do with your life today? Feel free to answer in the comments section and feel free to do it anonymously, you secret agent.
To go to the second part of this post, click here.