The world of social media encourages us to live our best life now. But what does that really mean in light of eternity, and how would Christ have us live in the here and now of our daily lives? In this episode, Leslie warns against using free time in a frivolous way and gives you a grid through which to measure the eternal value of your lifestyle.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Magazine covers and reality TV shows display a popular trend for our modern lifestyle — living mindfully. A peek into this movement contains everything from eating slow-food over fast-food, making homemade gifts to bring purpose to your life, and subtly weaves in yoga and meditation as part of the equation to mindful, purposeful living.
While not everything in this movement is bad, God has a completely different version of what we have termed “purposeful living.” It boils down to this key difference — the biblical take on purposeful living means living for something beyond yourself.
If you look at the mindful-living trend, the mantra is based entirely around the pursuit, fulfillment, and enjoyment of self. However, the only way to live with true intentionality is looking beyond yourself and into the things that matter in light of eternity. Ironically enough, we often develop a lack of purpose when our lives are built around ourselves and often crave and cram more me-time activities and self-care strategies to alleviate the emptiness still lurking in our hearts.
Proverbs 31:27 specifically warns us as Christian women not to take the bait of idleness. While our lives can be full to bursting with lots of things that seem purposeful and intentional, if all of these trappings serve only to make us feel better and thus invest our time in things that don’t contain eternal value we may be living full and yet empty lives at the same time.
The most common trap that pulls us into shallow living is using our free time in the wrong way. After a long day or week, refrain from unplugging from spiritual things or taking it easy with secularized activities that pull your focus away from Christ (i.e. reaching for a novel and surfing the Internet mindlessly rather than praying for the needs around you or finishing up that Christian biography.)
Am I more in tune with the culture than with the Word of God?
Am I completely fulfilled when in the presence of Jesus?
Your answer will reveal whether or not you have exchanged an eternal focus for a temporary one. True, purposeful living is found only in the presence of Christ. Imagine if all of the pleasures and indulgences in your life were all stripped away — would you be satisfied in Christ alone? May we, along with Amy Carmichael, be able to say, “Nothing will ever matter to me again except for the things that are eternal.”
Ask God for the grace and wisdom for how to change your daily habits to align with eternal priorities. Enjoy the things life has to offer but don’t substitute simple pleasures for your chief fulfillment.
Determine to live your life preparing for the return of your Heavenly King. It is a sobering reality that when Jesus returns we will give an account for the way that we lived on this earth — down to each word we have spoken (see Matthew 12:36). The question remains: Will our lamps be burning brightly or will our spiritual fire have been extinguished for worldly, shallow living?
As we live aware of the fact that this life is not about us, we can embrace the fact that every Christian woman is called to live a Gospel-centered life, and while that may vary between each person, use the following guide to examine your motives for hobbies and free time activities.
Here are some ways you can tell whether something has eternal value:
- It causes you to draw closer to Jesus Christ and/or learn more about Him.
- It builds meaningful relationships with the people God has put in your life.
- It helps you bless others and assists you in sharing the love of Christ with them.
- It helps you become better equipped for the things God has called you do.
- It leaves you peacefully refreshed instead of agitated and distracted.
- It bears “good fruit” instead of “bad fruit” in your life. (See Galatians 5:19-26.)
The old hymn says it well, “Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.”
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