Note: This article was written in a simple style for The Voice of Truth International.
“I need to get a life!” People get frustrated with their lives or feel things are not going the way they should. They sometimes express their frustration with the above phrase. It suggests that one can go out and buy a new life. Or switch it out as you would replace a car part or a piece of equipment.
You cannot snap your fingers or clap your hands and make a new life appear. A magician cannot wave a magic wand so that a life will pop out of a hat. Nor will you find a new life in the next box of cereal.
What does God’s Wonderful Message say to a person who really wants to “get” a life?
First, your desire must be more than a mere wish. Your frustration with your life as it is must motivate you to decide to change. Desire is not decision. Feelings of frustration or sadness about your life do not mean that change will occur.
Jesus knew that. He came for this very reason. He said, “I came that they [all people] might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NASV).
We can have this new life only if we are willing to give up the old one. It’s a tough decision, but a necessary one.
Second, know what life is. It is not getting rid of problems. It is not acquiring wealth and material possessions. It is not doing less work and finding more time for recreation.
Real life is defined for us. It is called eternal life. In the gospel of John, it is described, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
This life is called eternal because it shares the character of God. It is both quality and quantity. It is eternal because it is life with God.
Third, you cannot get a life, as the phrase suggests, but you may receive it. Man’s efforts to build a life are futile and useless. We receive this life with God when we are born again (anew) in baptism (John 3:3,5). “[T]he Son also gives life to whom He wishes” (John 5:21).
Our obedience to the gospel means that we reject our own attempts to produce a satisfying, lasting life in order to be blessed with the free gift of living with God.
Fourth, a life is built one thought, one word, one action at a time. We do not stumble suddenly upon the right kind of life or wake up one day and discover we are exactly what we would like to be.
Jesus says that those will live forever “who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life” (John 5:29). Paul tells us that salvation (a synonym for God’s life) must be “worked out” or developed because God is working in us (Philippians 2:12-13).
Character is the sum of our thoughts, words, and actions. God’s character is produced in us when we think like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and act like Jesus.
Don’t try to get a life. We all need life. But we can only receive it from the hands of Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).