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What's your life all about?

 

Does your life feel empty and without real purpose? Well, don't be surprised if it does, because it's that way for many, many people. However, we are all meant to know what life is about, to have a sense of significance about our place in the whole scheme of things and to have a certain security about where we are going us life. If your life lacks meaning, significance and security, then this book will certainly give you hope, because it tells how many other people have recovered from an empty life.

Not too many of us give much thought to the purposes of life. We leave that either to church people or those in the high towers of a university. Anyway, thoughts about the purpose of life are easily dismissed, as life is pretty hectic and we are all busy just surviving. We might fleetingly wonder about such things in our quieter moments, but never give it any real priority.

Alternatively, we tend to gloss over our concerns, or remedy our emptiness with any one of the man's drugs that we have available, or immerse ourselves in any of the activities that the world offers to divert our attention from what life is really about. Do you ever feel or think like that, or act in those ways?

It is important for us to know, that how we act in life and what we do, is very largely the result of what we think and feel about ourselves in relation to the challenges of life. However, these things are best explained by example. So consider the following stories about the lives of three young married men.

John, Jim and Eddie.

John, Jim and Eddie lived in a large country town. They were all newly married, aged about 25 and going through the usual routines of life, marriage, mortgage, children and all the joys and problems that go with them. You and your neighbours are probably grappling with these same things right now. Along with the rest of the population these three families were striving for the better things of life. Material things that is. Life was just too busy to have any time to even think about where life was going for them. lt can be like that for any of us, can't it?

Each of these men were in either a profession or trade and had good safe and secure jobs. Unlike the recent years of high unemployment, where insecurity abounds, they had no fears about being able to provide for their families. To the casual onlooker, all three looked like ordinary upright respectable citizens, the sort of persons you would enjoy meeting. There were no apparent differences in the ways they saw their lives and its meaning and significance for them and their families.

Let's see what happened in their lives over the next few years. Firstly John. Rather suddenly, John didn't appear to be around too much, except for weekends. His wife did not seem too happy and his children were always out of town. A little later everyone learned that John had left home and was living with another woman. Later the street grapevine passed on that he was ill. Those who knew him were quite upset as to what had happened, not only to him but also to his family who never really had the best of him.

Jim's problem was that he had initially put too much time into his work and study, leaving his family to fend for themselves. His relationship with his wife became worse and despite them seeming to try very hard, the relationship began to break down. To compensate for these difficulties, Jim also became involved in drug taking and this and his later involvement in fraudulent business activities contributed to the eventual breakdown of his marriage. He appeared to have forgotten the basic reasons for his existence, the reasons for his life and the significance that he and his family had for each other. As so often happens when a marriage is in trouble, Jim turned to other forms of self satisfaction, in this case to drugs and over involvement with his business, this eventually leading to illegal use of business funds. As a direct result of these activities he became quite ill. He had chosen to ignore the dangers of these forms of behaviour and eventually required medical treatment.

During the course of all these events he and his wife separated. Jim, however, was more fortunate than John. A life long friend of his supported and helped him through what was to be a major transition in his life . They obtained the right sort of medical and legal help for him and they taught him right ways to think and act in relation to other people . He had to relearn many things that he had originally learned from his parents. Many of the chapters of this book are about the relearning of right ways to live, using examples from the lives of many people and how they have made the transition into a new life for themselves and their families.

In all ways, Eddie was the most fortunate. From early in his life his parents had taught him right ways to live in relation to other people and that he must always treat them how he would like to be treated. In one sense, Eddie did not have it any easier than John or Jim, but because his attitudes to life were more firmly based, he was always able to cope well with the difficulties and hardships that came to him and his family. They were not wealthy, but always seemed to have all their needs supplied and even be able to share what they had with others in need. You might say that they were the normal happy family to which we would all like to belong.

What made the difference in these three lives?

To the casual observer, John, Jim and Eddie all seemed to be normal in their thinking and behaviour, probably just like people in your street or mine. We can all think of people that we know are different, but we can never really work out why. We just intuitively know they are. The important thing is why people are different. Let's see how the lives of these three differed, even though they appeared to be the same.

In what has been said so far, it has been implied that the difference in these three lives had to do with the basic attitudes to life that were taught to and received by each of the three men in their formative years. Because they had received different sets of values about the meaning of life, their role and significance to their families and the ways in which security of life is obtained, they each acted differently to the issues of life. Consequently, John and Jim made wrong decisions based on their own selfish needs, whilst Eddie acted more unselfishly. However, let us look at each one in turn.

John had sought greener pastures with another woman and this proved to be a very temporary and doubtful benefit. What he did, in terms of leaving his family and living in an adulterous situation, is against God's teaching in the Bible. If you are inclined to dismiss that statement about the Bible as out of date and not relevant in the world today, then you would be wise to hear the whole story of this book and not jump to conclusions based on the way the world currently thinks and acts. That is essentially what the book is about. To show you, the reader, that current ways of thinking, relating and behaviour, are not in line with God's expectations of us and always have dire consequences in the long run.

You will come to see that the Bible isn't such an old fashioned book just because it is old. If you hang in and go through this book you will come to see that the bible is eternally up to date! If you want to know something about the Bible right now, then read chapter 15. Jim violated God's laws in different ways. It is not God's will for any person to mistreat their bodies or to steal from another person. He did not consider these things at the time and suffered the consequences of mental torment and physical illness (consequences of sin which the bible began to reveal thousands of years ago) Jim had no power to control these things in his life until he became a Christian and sought meaning, significance and security for his life in the truths of the Bible.

Eddie was much more fortunate. Because he grew up with a knowledge of God's truth about these important things of life, his single and married life went along smoothly, as far as it can in this imperfect world. Eddie began on the right track and never got off it, because from his early days he based all his attitudes, values and actions on what the Bible taught him. Because he lived this way, he did not have to pay the high penalty that John and Jim paid because of their lack of appropriate knowledge. Eddie has been successful in all parts of his life and it is interesting to note that his children have also prospered.

Where are you in relation to all these things?

You may be thinking that you also had a bad start to life, were not taught as Eddie had been taught and that there is no hope for you anyway. You may have even ruined the life of your family and think that there is no hope for them either. Not so! God is the God of a second chance and anyone who wants to, can be restored to a fullness of life that is not easily imagined. When you read Chapter 4 you will have an explanation and examples of how that can happen in a family

You may also be thinking the Bible is irrelevant, that you didn't like sunday school or church anyway, or that you have tried all these things and they did not work. Please be assured of eternal truths in the Bible that are almost unbelievable in what they reveal of God's provision for mankind this book you are reading simply reveals the essential nature of what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years, a message that modern man has either not heard, ignored or disbelieved. It is really worth knowing!

You may be able to see your neighbours in these stories, but you should also ask yourself what values you hold in terms of life's meaning significance and security, lest any wrong values you hold may lead you in pathways that can be harmful to your life or the life of your family.

The rest of this book revolves around how God can help any person who believes in him in all the everyday issues of life. All the chapters are short like this one to make them easy to read. Please read on.

What this chapter has said

  1. We all need real meaning, significance and security in our lives if we don't find these things in the right ways or places we will seek them in wrong ways or in wrong places.
  2. There is a high cost for seeking these things in the wrong ways or in wrong places.
  3. There are great rewards for finding these things in the way that God intended.
  4. It is possible to recover from doing things the wrong way, for God gives all people a second chance. We should all assess where we are in life and get to know how to do things the right way.