It is normal to live with the goal of self-fulfillment, as a reason to get out of bed in the morning and do all that must be done to sustain life. Personal accomplishment is generally sought out through ambition, pleasure, or serving others. Each path offers its unique rewards and we choose according to personal predisposition. If the chosen avenue leads to disappointment, then we follow another road for a while and may even try all three. Ambition may take those who follow this road to heights of power and wealth. Living for personal pleasure is exhilarating in the thrill it promises. Living for others serves the need to be known as altruistic and someone to be admired. However, the flip-side of these rewards is personal devastation, the promise that turns to taunt in the struggle of completing self by the capabilities of self. Power and wealth leave the heart empty and alone. Personal pleasure is fleeting, requires constant feeding, which ends in degradation of self and even others. Living an altruistic lifestyle, leads to co-dependence because the service to others comes from the position of personal need that can’t be satisfied by other people. Serving others out of a need for their recognition results the in loss of identity, and leads to the emotional death of disillusionment. Though it is right to want to live and live to be the best we can be, these common paths don’t lead to the kind of personal fulfillment they offer, they lead away from life and end in death. These three choices appear right but the outcome is all wrong. There is no lasting joy in striving to fill our personal need with self. The end result is the gnawing spiritual and emotional hunger of inner torment.
A life lived centered upon self is a sad life. Depression is the deep, dark cave of self. An unfathomable cavern where no light can reach and no voice can be heard. The self-centered life is a life of isolation, where everything that person reaches for, in hope of realizing and actualizing purpose vanishes in the vacuum of personal void. Living in a world centered on self is experienced in the weakness of persistent craving that can’t be satisfied by following any path the world offers with the false-promise of self-fulfillment. When spiritual and emotional lack is filled by faith in Jesus, the believer is moved from living in a world centered on self to a world-view centered on Christ. He is as near as self in the heart and mind of the believer but in Him, lies the power to relieve inner isolation and give purpose to those who are lost and drifting in the rushing stream of life. Faith in Jesus is life-saving, life-giving, and life-sustaining. Accepting the gift of eternal life in Jesus is the way to live a joyfully, abundant life. Life centered upon Jesus fills the vacuum of spiritual and emotional need with the power of God, when the Holy Spirit enters in and completes the person who chooses to believe. The starving soul is satiated. The inner hollow becomes the abode of Christ. Ambition turns to dedication, the need for pleasure is met with joyful contentment, and love proceeds from the graceful throne of Mercy that is able to serve others with the kind of divine love that requires no human recognition. When human desire shifts from self to Christ, human want is satisfied as God’s purpose is realized in them and through them.
Center your heart and mind upon Christ, receive true purpose, and be completed in joy!
2 thoughts on “The Joyful Christ-Centered Life”
Well said, Pam! “Depression is the deep, dark cave of self.” Indeed. I’ve been there. So glad I belong to Someone who understand–and loves–me better than I do!
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Me too, Mitch. I really don’t know how people live without God in their life…
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