What do we mean when we say we are living life to the full, or living my best life? Are the meanings the same for both believers and non-believers? The short answer is no.
The believer’s concept of living life to the full is radically different than that of the non-believer, according to Holy Scripture.
Here’s the real question: how do we define what “full” is? We have two choices. One, pop culture’s definition. Two, Christ culture’s definition of living life to the fullest, or the way the Bible defines it.
Pop culture’s definition of the best life is set against the backdrop of advertising, sensory stimulation and the ways in which we may best attain an Epicurean lifestyle. That lifestyle suggests, “eat, drink, and be merry, because you only live once (or some other variation).
This mode of thinking is as old as human history. It points to one goal: measuring up to the standard set by culture. Pop culture says this is what you need to feel satisfied, glorified and “full” – this is living life to the fullest! It is what you are able to purchase; where you are able to vacay; the in-crowd you are able to hang with and the frequency with which you are able to broadcast this lifestyle on social media.
Christ culture, on the other hand, points to the single way to achieve not only a full life temporally, but eternally, as well. Christ culture is a mindset. It is modeled after that of Jesus Christ, whom Paul points to as the epitome of living the complete life: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5). What was the single quality of Christ that demonstrates for believers our ultimate reason for living? Paul says Christ “emptied” himself. Another translations says Christ, he gave up his divine privileges. (Philippians 2:7 NLT)
It sounds at first counterintuitive: the best way to live a “full” life is to empty ourselves – that is, if you want to live like Christ!
Here’s the pivot: there are a lot of people who appear to be living “full” but are really empty – empty of happiness, empty of joy and empty of peace. Conversely, there are many who appear to be living on “empty”, but are so full of the aforementioned attributes that their lives demonstrate the radiance of Jesus Christ.
The bottom line is that living life to the fullest is not based on who we are or what we have, but rather, as believers, on whose we are and whom we are becoming in Christ.
And you can take that to the bank!