The real aim in life

Have you ever asked your­self the ques­tion, “Where am I going?” What is your aim in life? Have you thought about whether that’s every­thing life is about?

We are sur­round­ed by many offers which claim to give ful­fill­ment to our lives. But what they can give us is only a tem­po­rary and nev­er a real, per­ma­nent aim in life. Only a per­ma­nent aim can ful­fill our deep long­ing for ever­last­ing joy and peace. The offers of this world are short-lived and they will pass away. There­fore we should look for the answer beyond this world, which means to look for God. God cre­at­ed us and knows what is best for us. Because He is eter­nal He can grant us per­ma­nent ful­fill­ment.

Let’s see how Jesus puts it:

Do not store up for your­selves trea­sures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for your­selves trea­sures in heav­en, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your trea­sure is, there your heart will be also. (Gospel of Matthew 6:19–21)

Be aware that gath­er­ing tem­po­rary trea­sures binds your heart to them and very soon you will become a slave of your stud­ies, job, movies or the like. You spend your time and ener­gy on them and can’t think about any­thing else any­more. You have lost your free­dom. But if you strive for spir­i­tu­al trea­sures you will expe­ri­ence what real joy is. God will help you to under­stand the pur­pose of your life and what you should do.

Jesus shows us the way

God showed his love towards us by send­ing his son Jesus Christ to help us to real­ize the truth. The truth isn’t any­thing the­o­ret­i­cal. Jesus speaks about the rea­sons of every evil and sin and shows us the way out of our self-cen­tered life. His spir­i­tu­al insight is amaz­ing. Jesus did not only speak, but also lived a right­eous, holy, and pure life as no one ever did. He invites us to fol­low his exam­ple which means also to be ready to give up our own wish­es and plans.

If any­one would come after me, he must deny him­self and take up his cross and fol­low me. For who­ev­er wants to save his life will lose it, but who­ev­er los­es his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet for­feit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Gospel of Mark 8:34–37)

There is noth­ing more pre­cious we have than our soul, our life. So shouldn’t we make every effort to put away any obsta­cle that hin­ders our sal­va­tion? Our own, most­ly self­ish plans and wish­es have to be replaced by the desire to live for God. In this way we can respond to His love towards us. He loved us first and is always will­ing to for­give our sins. Even if it seems to be dif­fi­cult to change our lives, we have no rea­son to be hope­less because God wants to give us his pow­er to over­come every dif­fi­cul­ty. Jesus came to teach us and to accom­pa­ny us as a mas­ter and broth­er in our efforts for a holy life.

Christians follow Jesus wholeheartedly

Chris­t­ian life does mean to fol­low Jesus whole­heart­ed­ly. Only if we put God in the first place of our lives, we are wor­thy to be called Chris­tians. It’s not enough—and even wrong—to lead a some­how pious life by keep­ing some reli­gious tra­di­tions and rules just because we have been brought up in that way. Nei­ther is it suf­fi­cient to accept Jesus as per­son­al sav­ior if it is not con­nect­ed with the firm deci­sion to live accord­ing to God’s will—not in the­o­ry but in dai­ly prac­tice. Oth­er­wise all spir­i­tu­al activ­i­ties become a for­mal­i­ty which makes us indif­fer­ent and emp­ty. We then miss the expe­ri­ence of what Jesus promised:

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will nev­er go hun­gry, and he who believes in me will nev­er be thirsty. (Gospel of John 6:35)

We should devote ourselves to God instead of only expecting blessings!

Isn’t it the real­i­ty that many peo­ple only expect much from God but aren’t ready to give every­thing? Can we have a rela­tion­ship with God if we want to get all kinds of bless­ing but aren’t will­ing to devote our­selves? A rela­tion­ship is nev­er one-sided but mutu­al. Apos­tle Paul writes to the Chris­tians in Rome:

There­fore, I urge you, broth­ers, in view of God’s mer­cy, to offer your bod­ies as liv­ing sac­ri­fices, holy and pleas­ing to God—this is your spir­i­tu­al act of wor­ship. (Let­ter to the Romans 12:1)

The dis­ci­ples of Jesus serve God with their whole lives, not only on spe­cif­ic days or in spe­cial places. The Chris­tians in the Bible did it togeth­er rather than as indi­vid­u­als and this fel­low­ship of the first Chris­tians is an exam­ple we can fol­low nowa­days as well.

The ques­tion “Where am I going?” should lead to the ques­tion “Where should I go?” Apos­tle Simon Peter said to Jesus,

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eter­nal life.
(Gospel of John 6:68)

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