Instead of thinking about what you might accomplish in your day, year, or life, focus instead on how others might be impacted by your words and actions. This life isn’t about us. It’s about God and others, although you would never know it by much of our modern culture. Forget about trying to learn this truth from Hollywood or Madison Avenue.
This life – your life – exists solely to glorify God and to serve others (Matthew 22:37-39). So, instead of calculating what you might do with your life, perhaps instead determine how your life can have the greatest impact for God and for others. This, after all, is the meaning of life.
Imagine how our moods might be lifted if we kept our focus on God and others rather than on ourselves. Let’s face it, most of our depression not rooted in a serious medical condition comes from the fact we are too focused and obsessed with our own lives. For example, when we begin to think about money, we stress ourselves out wondering where we’ll come up with what we need. The better thought is to concentrate on how we could help someone else in need. In doing so we shift our focus off ourselves and onto others, which glorifies God.
We’ve fallen so far. Along the way we’ve become convinced life is personal. It’s not. Life, as demonstrated perfectly by Jesus, is meant to be given away. Society has spent hundreds, even thousands of years indoctrinating us to the false belief life is all about us. In American culture, it’s about getting ahead, climbing the ladder of success, being comfortable, entertained, and well-fed. None of these things matter in the long run. None of them will count for anything when we come face to face with our Creator.
The meaning of life is not to serve ourselves but to spend ourselves in the service of God and others. We’ve got to make the transition from being self-absorbed to others-focused. It is the life Jesus lived and the one to which He is calling each of us. This is a massive mind shift, particularly for those of us who live in cultures where this will seem countercultural and outright crazy to most. Jesus said the road to Him was narrow and few would find it (Matthew 7:14). Being self-centered is to walk the wide path to destruction. If we want to enter through the narrow gate, we’ve got to set aside ourselves in favor of another.
Much has been written and debated about the meaning of life, but Jesus was clear. It’s about glorifying Him and serving others. We must lead with love. Service must become our first instinct and default reaction. Even if you’ve spent your entire life focused on yourself, it’s not too late to change. The meaning of life – your life – can begin right now if you will seek God and His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). Our old impulses and desires must go. The meaning of life is to glorify Christ by serving others. Let’s get to the work He has given us to do.