How Shall I Live?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

~ Colossians 3:2

“What am I going to do with my life and how shall I live” are two questions many people consciously think about from the early stages of life and perhaps into adulthood as well. In the early phases of life, we may draw from our heritage, reflecting our parents’ jobs as needed for essential income. Likewise, our parent’s values and sacred belief systems that they determined to be vital for success in life could also be important to us. Our parent’s pastimes and favorite leisure routines may influence us to the extent that we, too, may become involved in those activities. Is that “good or bad?” Maybe, maybe not!

An Austrian-born psychiatrist, philosopher, and author, Viktor Frankl, was a World War II holocaust survivor. He wrote the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” (1946), which in summary, discusses his observations of fellow concentration camp inhabitants during World War II. Dr. Frankl discusses in his book the behaviors of fellow concentration camp members that had meaning and purpose, which perhaps kept them alive longer than those who had no meaning or purpose. Another perspective involves Rick Warren, a modern-day pastor, and influential speaker. He has also authored a book called “The Purpose Driven Life” (2002), which, from a Biblical perspective, assists the reader with determining what their purpose is in life. I believe that man’s “search for meaning” and “purpose in life” are two core and fundamental themes we seek to understand about ourselves!

Perhaps the concepts of “man’s search for meaning” and our “purpose in life” can help us to answer the initial questions presented: “what am I going to do with my life and how shall I live?” If you are a reader, you’ll quickly find a plethora of thoughts, beliefs, and ideas about finding the answers to the questions presented. I encourage readers to explore Biblical truths, ideas, and teachings that have stood the test of time in the thousands of years they have been in existence! The Bible, which is God’s Holy Word, is an instruction manual for readers, which, if followed while living a godly and righteous life, should be successful with endeavors God has placed before them to do. Believing this, perhaps, is the first direction someone should look at who is seeking the answers they are looking for regarding “what they should do and how they should live!”

As I turn to the book of Colossians 3 (Holy Bible), the Apostle Paul provides clear and concise guidance regarding what we should do and how we should live our lives! He begins by teaching us that we need first to clean up our lives. He states we should cease sinful and adverse activities as well as any form of “idolatry” (vs. 5) which, after doing so, will help to improve how we live. He also states we should “rid ourselves of…anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips” (vs. 8). He then turns the focus to “what we should value and how we should live:” “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (vs. 12-14). We should also “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” as we have been “called to peace” (vs. 15).

“What am I going to do with my life and how shall I live” are the questions presented that we must consider and decide what to do. Perspectives from mankind and essential biblical principles have been explored, which provide helpful guidance about the direction of our lives. I encourage individuals exploring the answers to the questions presented to lean heavily upon the Bible and the life-essential teachings provided, which have stood the test of time! One last Bible verse Christians should review and consider when seeking to determine “what to do and how to live,” is this: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Amen!

Many blessings to you!

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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