What is the Meaning of Life?
If you research this question, either on the internet or in libraries, you will find a significant number of attempts to analyze the question, and even more to try and answer it. I’m writing rather informally here, but I’m going to try my hand at answering this question without repeating the many ideas already out there.
The reason the question is so elusive to most people is that they erroneously think of themselves at the center of life, and all their feelings, thoughts, experiences, dreams, and hopes are at the heart of the question about the meaning of life. All those things are good, but most people are going about this all wrong. We should not put ourselves in the center and think about our lives as the thing we want to find the meaning for. Life exists outside us much more than it does inside us. If we want to find the real meaning of life, consider this: What is the meaning of life to the One who created it? All the real answers will stream from that.
I might think something different tomorrow, but today I think that the meaning of human life is to give joy to God. There are probably other things, but I think that answer eclipses all others. If it concerns you that I might be skirting the issue of the meaning of YOUR life, please be patient. We’ll get to that shortly.
If any of you readers have children and love them, you might understand a little of the concept of finding joy and meaning in loving your offspring. When my kids were little, when I could simply sit and watch them, I didn’t need TV, movies, music, sports, or any other past time. They gave me such a kick, just by looking at them doing all the things they did. They were so sweet and cute, I just drank it in, and felt joy to be around them. (I’ll tell you a secret. My kids are in their twenties now, and I often still get the same feeling when I look at them.) If you don’t have kids, think about people in your life that have given you joy without them even knowing it. Take that kind of feeling and multiply it in your mind to the point where it is joy of great maginitude, and you might be able to understand that as God's children, WE are the meaning of life!
In the eyes of our Heavenly Father love abounds beyond our ability to comprehend. Since our life provides joy and meaning to Him, we mean something. Life means something. I am not saying God would feel empty and meaningless without us. That would be absurd. But I am saying He is overjoyed with us and has a purpose for this planet that includes us. We help fulfill His worthwhile purpose, which gives our lives purpose.
God loves life. If He didn’t, then why did He make so much of it? Over five billion species have existed on earth. These are examples of life that began with God. All life has meaning to Him. But I’ll tell you what kind of life has the most meaning to Him. We get a hint in the scripture where Jesus said, “Or if there is a woman who has ten silver coins, and loses one, won’t she light a lamp and sweep and search the house until she finds it? And when she does, she will call her friends and neighbors together. ‘Come and celebrate with me’, she will say, ‘for I have found that precious coin I lost.’ I tell you, it is the same in Heaven—there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who turns to God.”
Not only does it give God and the angels intense joy when one person is saved, but that heavenly joy echoes back from Heaven on to the person who chose to receive the gift of salvation. And it doesn’t end there. The Holy Spirit brings to the person love, joy, peace, and other blessings as lifetime benefits of knowing and communing with Him. The Bible calls these the fruit of the Spirit. Contemplate that for a while. We bring meaning to God, for Him to enjoy. God brings meaning back into our lives for us to enjoy.
This brings us back now to answer the person looking for the meaning of life with self at the center. Understand this cycle, the meaning of life comes to you and you understand it when you step into the circle of love in relationship with Jesus. The circle continues into the future. The two of you are in the center together. Joy, meaning, and significance together increase in you personally.
And that is the meaning of life.
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