John 14:15–21, John 15:26–16:11
There are two types of “good life.” There is the world’s version of the good life. There is God’s version of the good life. In some ways, they overlap, but let’s be honest with ourselves, we want them to overlap far more than they do. Some believe that being in a post-Christian world is actually harder than the pre-Christian world that the disciples and early church were in. Much of that is the culture’s assumptions about churches, church people, and Christians. Sadly, some of their assumptions are correct, especially superficially. The world’s good life is full of good (even great) people. Everyone can be good, except Christians, and an ever increasing list of people. Now, that seems a bit harsh. However, the list of new “sins” of the world grows increasingly long. People who were on top of the righteous have now found themselves at the bottom, for the “sins” have changed. We can see more than a few people who have experienced this looking around wondering what has happened. Yet, there is a claim for a good life. Happiness is the key.
Happiness. A fleeting feeling is proof of the good life. As anxiety and depression soar, and people buy the latest greatest thing (that other not-so-new thing was last week) leading to a greater amount of waste. In fact, the world’s good life doesn’t lead to true good life, but a treadmill that goes nowhere.
This is why Jesus made the promise he did to his disciples (and thus to us). Jesus understood that the world would constantly pull his disciples away from him, tempting them with “the good life.” The Counselor. The Spirit of Truth. That Jesus understood what we needed, should give us hope that God does indeed understand us. He also understood that emotionally we often feel alone and separated from not just God, but from others, too. Thus, Jesus reminds us that we are not orphans.
The Spirit—the Counselor—while not leaving us orphans, also testifies to the Truth. This is not the world’s truth. It is God’s Truth. This is where the good life begins.
1) If we know that God has the True good life, why we do we often chase after the world’s good life?
2) Why is happiness confused with the good life?
3) Knowing that you are not an orphan, no matter what the world tells us, would seem to be a key feature of the good life. When was the last time you share this key?