Ahhhhhh...the good life. We all want it. I’m not sure what comes into your mind when you think of “the good life”, but it probably has to do with whatever is relaxing, comfortable, and enjoyable to you. Somehow we all feel at some level like we deserve a break. We’ve been working too hard, trying to do too much, over scheduled, over committed...you know the drill. But what is the good life really?
As Ron pointed out on Sunday the good life is not something we get, its something we are. In 1 Peter 3:10 Peter quotes Ps. 34 which says “Whoever desires to love life and see good days...”, and then goes on to describe what this “good life” looks like. He is also referring to what he has just said in vs. 8-9. His description of the “good life” is not sitting on the beach soaking up rays and relaxing with a good book, it is unity, sympathy, compassion, and humility. It’s how we treat each other. It’s being a blessing to each other, not causing each other problems.
The background of 1 Peter is that people are suffering and need to find God’s grace in the midst of that suffering. Peter isn’t suggesting that the good life is the absence of suffering, but that we are called to experience the good life in spite of suffering. Paul said the “...kingdom of God is not eating or drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) It’s not a carefree lifestyle, but the inner reality of joy, peace, and righteousness regardless of what is going on in the circumstances of our life. This is the good life...living in a community of believers where there is unity, and sympathy with each other. Where compassion and humility are the norm and where we refuse to retaliate back when wronged, but seek to bless not only those who bless us but even, and especially those who do us wrong. This is the good life!
Ron asked the question, “If being a Christian invites trouble, why be a Christian?” The answer is that the absence of trouble isn’t an indication of the ‘good life’. The good life is the presence of Godly character, the fruit of the Spirit, and genuine biblical love in a person’s heart. Its when these things experienced in individual hearts are poured out to each other in the context of community.
Welcome to the good life!