by Jim Russell
Quality of life. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to improve it, at least in some areas?
What are the most common wishes and needs?
Material security. Those struggling with the necessities of life — food, clothing, and shelter — long for goals more humble than the affluent in our community. People living beyond the necessities of life are preoccupied by a larger home, boat, automobile, a longer vacation — things that signal status, success, or self-fulfillment.
Personal achievement. For many, achievement in business, education, and professional and political life, or in major movements leading to national change, enhances quality of life. This is especially true when an achievement brings personal recognition, authority, and control over people and circumstances.
Harmonious relationships. National polls show that, because we are a fragmented society, people are intensely searching for quality of life in the world of relationships. Nearly all of us can relate to an inner desire to have better relationships with some member of our family, a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend, or someone we may have wronged.
Good health. Health also is a quality of life consideration. As life span lengthens for Americans, quality of life is increasingly measured in good health and freedom from physical pain.
The bottom line
We have briefly examined four factors. There are obviously others.
Now we come to the most important of all. National polls identify the highest priority for Americans is an intensified search for meaning in life.
Aha! We come at last to the bottom line: significance! What is the significant contribution of my life? Is there any? Will I have made a difference? How sad, how tragic is the intensified search across the nation. Like the mother whose drug-abused 13-year-old daughter was left dying on the steps of a local hospital. She pathetically excuses her failure with “Nobody gave me a manual telling me how to raise a child.”
Living by the Manual
Dear lady, there is such a Manual. Copies of it exist by the millions in Christian homes in our nation, in your community, in your neighborhood. They lie there unread, unshared, unused, and untaught — a dusty testimony to contemporary hypocrisy. People who own these copies have many of the same problems regarding quality of life as you do. They have these problems because they do not focus on the central Person in the Manual and the truth of His teachings. They disobey His commandments and reap the penalties of their denial.
More than any person in history, Jesus understood quality life and gave His life so you and I could experience its highest level, not only in this life but also in the next.
Notice what Jesus said about these subjects.
Material security: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
Personal ambition: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
Relationships: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34, 35).
Health: “‘Go, your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road” (Mark 10:52). In controlled studies, medical science is discovering the positive impact of prayer and faith on health and well-being.
As the blind — both spiritually and physically — discover, supreme quality of life is found in obediently following Jesus. It’s all in the Manual.
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
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