At one point or another, we’ve all wondered about the meaning of life. Some people spend decades searching for their own life’s purpose. It’s only human to long for something that makes us feel whole and fulfilled. The wisdom of the day tells us that we are the key to our own happiness. We are taught to focus inward and self-reflect. Culture says we should prioritize ourselves and let our lives be guided by our own proverbial internal compasses. That’s what living your best life is all about.
Christianity, on the other hand, offers another solution. The Christian faith addresses these longings for meaning and purpose head on, but not by telling us to look further within ourselves. Rather, biblical wisdom teaches us to fully surrender ourselves to the Almighty, Everlasting God. In Him, we find ultimate meaning.
Nearly 400 years ago, a group of leaders in the Puritan Church developed The Westminster Shorter Catechism, written as a series of questions and answers, to teach the basic doctrines of Christianity. The first question of the Catechism seeks to get at man’s need to identify the meaning of life by asking, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer given is simply, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.”
Glorifying God is the true aim of the Christian life. Scripture points to a number of ways we are called to bring honor and glory our Maker.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
As we grow in grace, glorifying God takes place throughout the lifelong process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. We glorify God by increasingly loving Him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds and by loving our neighbors as ourselves. As Jesus so clearly stated in Matthew 22:40, “on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
Practically speaking, glorifying God looks like obeying His Word, reading and understanding the Scriptures, praying fervently, serving others, practicing self-denial, giving generously, loving our enemies, and so on. All of these things bear the fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
Enjoy Him Forever
Enjoying God is all about delighting in the salvation freely given to us in Christ.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
When we were dead in our trespasses, what reason did we have to rejoice? Once we have been transformed by the renewing of our minds, we become exceedingly glad for all that Jesus has done for us. We sing praises to God, an outward expression of joy, because we have the hope of everlasting life. We find joy in Him because of who He is and what He has done. The gospel alone is the reason we enjoy God forever.
So, why are we here and what’s life all about? If I’m certain of one thing it’s that the key to good living is not to double-down on our own happiness and endlessly search for meaning in our relationships, careers, or material possessions. I think, in the end, we would all agree that this approach is futile. Instead, the secret to our existential purpose lies with the Creator of all things. We, as His creatures, belong to Him. And thanks be to God that His ways are better than our ways. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Simply put, as Christians, we are called to live our daily lives in a way that glorifies God. As a result, we will enjoy Him all our days. As C.S. Lewis explains, “Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.