5 Ways to Know if You’re Truly Living Life to the Fullest -- Guest Post with Author Tessa Emily Hall
From a young age, I was taught the importance of living with passion. Why settle for a life less than one you enjoy? This encouragement has compelled me to follow my heart—and most importantly, seek God’s will—for every step along my journey thus far.
However, even though it sounds all romantic to lead a life you’re in love with, let’s face it: We aren’t always going to be in love with our life. Jesus died so we could experience abundant life, yes. But that doesn’t mean we won’t experience seasons of suffering. It doesn’t mean we’ll experience happiness on earth 24/7.
Our society loves to encourage us to “live life to the fullest—sometimes to the point that we might feel guilty or disappointed. As if we’re doing something wrong if we aren’t working at our dream job, traveling the world, skydiving, in a romantic relationship, etc.
Because what if we can’t work at the job we particularly enjoy in this season of our lives?
What if we don’t have the funds necessary to travel the world?
What if we’re simply not interested in taking daring risks, such as skydiving?
What if we’d rather spend the weekend working on a hobby rather than at a concert with friends?
Does this mean we’re not living our life to the fullest?
Not at all. I believe the meaning of this phrase can vary from person to person.
Personally, my definition of this isn’t necessarily the one our society loves to instill within us. It isn’t equivalent to living each day in complete earthly happiness. Because abundant life can never be found in this world alone; it stems from our relationship with Jesus Christ.
According to John 11:25, Jesus is the “resurrection and the life”. Our Life resides within us. He alone is the One who can bring meaning, joy, and light even into the dullest and grayest of days.
No, this doesn’t mean we should settle for a life we don’t enjoy. I do think it delights our Father when we lead a life we’re passionate about—especially when we’re seeking His will for our lives. He died so we may experience life to the fullest (see John 10:10), so of course He wants us to enjoy our lives!
Christ intends for us to experience heaven with Him, even while we’re on earth. That is true life. This earth is fleeting and temporal. It’s broken. Imperfect. Reeks with death (sin, according to Romans 6:23). If we rely on this world as a source of our joy, then we will never be satisfied because it’s an impossible feat. (Despite how many trips we take and new cultures we experience!)
So how can we truly know if we’re living our life to the fullest?
We should ask ourselves…
1- Am I growing each day in my relationship with Christ? Do I look to Him for my source of peace, joy, hope, and love—or am I seeking the world to provide this for me instead?
2 - Is my mood constantly attached to my day-to-day life circumstances, or is it a reflection of the abiding life that resides within?
3 - Am I making the most of my days on earth by doing what He has called me to do—to love God, love people, storing for myself treasures in heaven rather than on earth? (See Matt. 6:19-21.)
4 - Am I surrendered in obedience to His Word and seeking His will for every decision? I love what Jesus says in Matthew 16:25-26: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” This means that, in order to truly have life, we are to abandon our will for the sake of following Him. We are to let go of our earthly attachments for the sake of attaining true, eternal treasures instead.
5 - Do I spend time in His presence? Thanks to the price Christ paid for us, we no longer have to wait until we’re at church to enter into God’s presence. The Holy Spirit is with us always. And in His presence, there is life. Psalm 16:11 (NLT) says, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
Of course, I am always going to strive to make the most of my days on earth. I’m always going to want to make special memories, do things that make me happy, and lead a life of passion. But ultimately, if I do those things and yet I am still living in sin (death), then I won’t have true life abiding on the inside. My life is meaningless without Him.
The only way I can ultimately “live life to the fullest” is by growing in my relationship with Christ every single day and living in obedience to His will. Besides, He died for me--not just so I could receive eternal life after I die, but so I could receive eternal life here and now. He paid a tremendous price, so I could enjoy this life-giving relationship.
And trust me: This relationship brings an entirely new meaning to the term “life”. Nothing on this earth can come close to providing this kind of joy--no, not even skydiving!
Tessa’s latest book Coffee Shop Devos releases later this year.
About the Book:
There's something special about spending time at a coffee shop with a friend--engaging in a meaningful conversation, then leaving refueled and ready to tackle the rest of the day. What if your quiet times with God energized you the same way?
Coffee Shop Devos offers a warm atmosphere that will inspire you to discover your God-given purpose and live to your greatest potential. Choose your devo flavor in the Menu of Contents based on your current need. Then lean into deeper intimacy with Christ through reflection and prayer. Along the way, you'll pick up tips and recipes for making your own coffee-shop beverage--regular or decaf--to enjoy while you read. And don't forget to share your journey with your friends! #CoffeeShopDevos
Each of the 180 challenging and motivational devotions will leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated--almost as though you've shared a steaming pot of brew at a coffee shop with your Creator.
Pre-order Coffee Shop Devos on Amazon!
Mark “to read” on Goodreads!