Summary: Peter gives us some simple commands to help us to love life and see good days.
A. What do you think of when I say “The Good Life?”
1. Did you know that "The Good Life" is a state slogan for the state of Nebraska?
2. “The Good Life” is a philosophical phrase for the life that one would like to live.
3. You might be surprised to know that the phrase is originally associated with Aristotle.
4. There have been songs and movies and Television Shows by that title.
5. I notice that Chuck Colson has a book by that title published in 2005.
B. What really is “The Good Life”?
1. For some it conjures up a life of ease…fishing, swinging, playing golf, or reading a book.
2. For others it conjures up a life of expense…luxury yachts…Caribbean beaches…mountain top chalets…hot tubs and spas and servants.
3. For still others it conjures up images of extreme living…bungee jumping, snowboarding out of helicopters, or wild parties.
C. The Declaration of Independence contains the well-known phrase “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” which its author Thomas Jefferson listed as among the “unalienable rights” God gave to people.
1. For many people in today’s postmodern society, pursuit of that Jeffersonian ideal means primarily chasing after objects of self-gratification such as money, houses, cars, vacations, the best seats at sporting and entertainment events, and health and fitness.
2. Sometimes this pursuit includes the baser aspects of hedonistic living, such as promiscuous sex, frequent alcohol consumption, and the unfettered use of so-called recreational drugs (like marijuana, crack cocaine, and ecstasy).
3. The sad reality is that such things are merely a temporary rush that falls far short of the genuine good life that really satisfies.
D. One of the most notorious 20th century personifications of the hedonistic life was the famed novelist Ernest Hemingway.
1. He’s the author of noted literary works like A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea.
2. He had little regard for the teachings of the Bible or traditional systems of morality.
3. He pursued the “good life” with a vengeance.
4. His literary talent brought him fame and finances enough to allow him to seek pleasure all over the world.
5. However, none of it gave Hemingway any lasting and genuine satisfaction.
6. His life tragically ended with suicide in 1961.
E. Even the pages of Scripture contain examples of individuals who pursued the “good life” in all the wrong places.
1. The best worst example may be Solomon the 3rd king of Israel.
2. He had it all: power, wealth, fame, and over a thousand beautiful women.
3. At one point he wrote, “So I hated life; for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.” (Eccl. 2:17)
4. Solomon came to realize that the good life was not found in great accomplishments or much education; it was not found in pleasure or material possessions.