How to Discover Your Actual Vision of the Good Life

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Whenever I ask Christians to describe the Good Life, I get some really good answers. In fact, I get solid theological answers.

  • The Good Life is glorifying God in everything I do.
  • The Good Life is sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus.
  • The Good Life is sacrificing my life to do what God has called me to do.

Great answers. But they sometimes remind me of children’s Sunday School answers. Remember that feeling from Sunday School? If you answer “Jesus” to every question, you’re bound to be right at some point.

I always want to ask: “These answers sound good. But is that what you really believe the Good Life is? If I studied the patterns of your daily life, would I find your answers evidenced there?”

There is a difference between what you say the Good Life is and what you live. You can only discover what you really believe the Good Life is by looking at the way you organize your life.

Every Christian needs to examine what their vision of the Good Life is and compare it to God’s vision of the Good Life.

Six questions will give you insight into your vision of the Good Life. These questions are based on your behaviors.

Once you answer each question, ask the second part of the question: “Why?” Why you behave in a particular way discloses your motives. Your motives help tell you what you believe the Good Life is.

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1. What do you spend money on?

Jesus said that your treasure is where your heart is (Matt. 6:21). Do you want to see what you love and what you believe the Good Life is? Look at where your money goes.

Then ask why your money goes to those things. One person may spend a lot of money on eating out because he loves food. Another because he enjoys the communal experience. Another because she appreciates the convenience.

What do you spend your money on and why?

2. How do you spend your time?

Your time indicates what you believe the Good Life is. Even the time that you are “forced” to work at your job. Where does your time go?

Why do you spend time the way that you do?

3. What do you try to learn more about?

Every person is curious. What are you curious about? When you read a book or watch a documentary, what do you try to learn about?

A couple days ago I was waiting at a doctor’s office reading The Four Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey. As I read it, I stopped and thought, “Why am I choosing to read this particular book?” Because I want to get results. And to lead others to get results, and this book is proven to help do that. Then I asked, “Why is this important?” The answer: because I believe the Good Life is one in which I accomplish significant work and lead others to do the same.

Now I have to wrestle with the question of whether that’s a biblical vision of the Good Life.

4. What passions do you talk about?

Jesus said, “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). You naturally talk about your passions. Your passions emerge from your vision of the Good Life.

Ask your friends what you talk about regularly. What do your kids repeat that they’ve heard you say?

Why are those passions?

5. What do you try to “sell” to others?

Every person is in sales in some way. You may recruit someone to help you with a ministry at church. Or try to sell someone on a book that you recently read. Or convince someone that the new Angry Birds game is the best ever. (For more on this idea, check out Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human.)

When you try to influence others, what are you selling? Why? What does that tell you about your view of the Good Life?

6. What makes you really mad?

What really upsets you? Like boil-your-blood, need-time-to-recover, ready-to-throw-punches mad? Frustration is the gap between expectations and reality. And your frustration emerges when your desire for the Good Life is not met.

It’s good to have solid theological answers to the Good Life. In fact, in my new e-course, I share three characteristics of the Good Life that are present throughout the Bible.

But theologically correct answers don’t always demonstrate what you actually believe the Good Life is.

You can only live God’s vision of the Good Life when you know what your vision is and compare it to His. Discover your vision of the Good Life by examining these six questions.

Want to Discover God’s Vision of the Good Life?

Check out my new e-course designed to help you not only discover the Good Life from God’s perspective — but also to organize your life to live it.

Question: What is one insight you gained about your vision of the Good Life from answering these questions?

I help busy leaders live and lead with greater purpose, productivity, and peace. Author of forthcoming Getting (un)busy. Blog at www.garlandvance.com/