By: Rick Warren華理克
幾年前，美國加州美生維久市的一個規畫社區打出廣告吸引買屋者，他們用了一些廣告詞：「美生維久：加州的承諾」和「過美好生活的地方」。我想每個文化都有不同的方式描述「美好生活」。例如義大利文的「la dolce vita」就是「甜蜜的生活」。我們不也都想要美好的生活嗎？
思想 / 討論題目
若有人問你什麼是「美好的生活」，你會如何定義？ 根據你對美好生活的定義，你是否正在經歷這樣的生活？為什麼？ 「好看、感覺好和擁有想要的東西只是美好生活的副產品，不應是我們生活的主要焦點。」你對這句話有何看法？ 本文作者認為，與上帝建立關係能使我們成為好的人並做善事，最終成為上帝要我們做的人。你是否同意他的這個觀點？請解釋。註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
THE SECRET FOR LIVING “THE GOOD LIFE”
By: Rick Warren
A few years ago, the planned community of Mission Viejo, California in the U.S.A. launched an advertising campaign to attract home buyers. The campaign used phrases like, "Mission Viejo: the “California Promise”" and "The place to live the Good Life." I think every culture refers to “the good life” in one way or another. In Italian, for example, it”s “la dolce vita” – literally, “the sweet life.” Don”t we all want the good life?
Even though it has become an oft-used, well-worn phrase, I wonder how many people have ever bothered to try defining what “the good life” really is – or what it should be.
Looking good. Some people confuse "the good life" with "looking good.” They are preoccupied with appearances – as if that is what really matters in life. The American culture, for example, idolizes beauty and places high value on being attractive. Advertisers capitalize on this. knowing the promise of "looking good" causes men and women to spend billions on beauty products, tanning salons, plastic surgery, fat suction, custom color coordination, and the latest styles in clothing.
Feeling good. For others, "the good life" means the same as “feeling good.” Their goal is minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure – and they will use whatever means they think necessary to achieve this: hot tubs, entertainment parks, drug addiction, virtual reality experiences, world travel, film or concert venues. The supplying of pleasure and entertainment has grown into the largest industry in some countries. A motto from the 1960s, "If it feels good, do it,” has become personal philosophy for many people.
Having the goods. Then there are others who associate "the good life" with “having the goods.” Their chief ambition in life is collecting all the goods and goodies of life – at least as many as possible. They earn as much money as they can so they can spend it as fast as they can. Some frankly identify their values with bumper stickers that declare, "The one that dies with the most toys wins." Others are not that brazen, but still believe this “good life” is something that can be acquired, like a commodity.
The truth is: None of these things ultimately satisfy.
No matter what you do, you cannot stop the aging process.
Pleasure is a byproduct of the good life; it should not be viewed as the goal of it.
The greatest things in life are not things at all!
So, what truly is the Good Life? It is the personal fulfillment and joy that come from being good and doing good. It is the result of discovering and becoming exactly what God created you to be. Nothing else will fill that void in your soul. The Bible tells us: "You are God’s workmanship, created…to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do" (Ephesians 2:10). When you use your life to help others – doing good – and know and trust God, you will feel good about yourself. That is the Good Life. Don’t let anybody deceive you into thinking it is something else.
In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus announced He came to give us life, making it possible for us to experience life abundantly – to its fullest (John 10:10). The Bible also declares we can have this abundant life right now, to the degree we trust God with every detail of our lives (2 Corinthians 3:17).
© 2010, Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, the author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life. It has been named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He also has written The Purpose-Driven Church and The Purpose of Christmas.
If someone were to ask you about “the good life,” how would you define it? Based on your definition of the good life, do you believe you are experiencing it right now? Why or why not? What do you think of the statement that looking good, feeling good, and “having the goods” – possessing desirable things – are nothing more than byproducts of the so-called “good life” and should not be the primary focus of our lives? Do you agree with Dr. Warren”s view that having a personal relationship with God enables us to be good and do good, ultimately making it possible for us to become all that He has designed us to be? Explain your answer.
NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic:
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; Matthew 6:19-21, 25:21-23; Luke 16:10-12; Acts 20:35; 1 Timothy 6:17