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There’s much talk today about “human flourishing”, humanity’s pursuit to fulfill our dignity, capacity and responsibility as human beings. However, when this becomes a singular pursuit—when it’s all about us fulfilling what we hope to become with our families, careers, relationships and contribution to society—we miss the mark. The Scriptures lead us to a certain order, which is, God first, humanity (community) second, and individual attainments third. We flourish when we realize our identity in the imago dei, the image of God. We flourish when God’s Kingdom and ways flourish, not ours. We won’t leave anything worthwhile from our earthly sojourn that falls under what we’ve been able to accomplish in this life. It’s all about God's Kingdom, God’s ways and God’s good. Jesus summed it up in the Great Commandment: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." We kid ourselves if we think we can add anything worthy to that.
This is so counter to the culture we live in, it seems strange. We’re constantly challenged to better ourselves, improve our approach, make an impact with our lives. But if our lives are not defined by God’s Kingdom and purposes, we’re just vapors, puffs. We’ll soon be gone and forgotten. The only memory of lives lived that means anything at all are those lived with the values and vision God provides. A vision of holiness and grace. Values of selfless sacrifice and unconditional love. This is Christ’s example of human flourishing.
So, the question becomes, if our hope is that our families, marriages and personal lives flourish, how might we live according to the vision and values of the Kingdom of God?