In Rick Warren’s incredible book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” the title of his third chapter might be as piercing and groundbreaking for you as it was for me. He asks the reader, “What drives your life?” and then gives five common ‘engines’ that drive our lives. For me, I found that he had quoted a really interesting translation of Ecclesiastes 4:4, from the Living Bible. I had read Ecclesiastes so many times, and I always meaning in the meaninglessness of life, as portrayed in the verses. However, I had never read the Living Bible translation of this verse, and it goes like this:

I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy!              -Ecclesiastes 4:4 (LB)

I do find that a lot of times my motivation isn’t godly or right; most of the time, I’m looking out for me, and not others. I find that my I’m motivated by money and wealth, which is perhaps fueled by envy of others’ wealth. I want a better job because what that other job affords: more money, more status, more cultural capital. So the verse hit the nail on the head, or at least my own head, and I could see I might be driven in other ways as well: by guilt, by resentment and anger, by fear, by materialism, and by need for others’ approval.

If you’re not sure what’s driving your life, an even sharper question to ask yourself is, “What is your life?” (James 4:14, NIV)  Gee whiz, what a sharp question. The question isn’t necessarily about where you’re going in life, what you’re accumulating or consuming in life, or how you’re supposed to live your life. Rather, it’s a more fundamental question we need to ask ourselves each day. “What is my life?”

The Alpha Course has the motto, “Is there more to life?” That seems to be the corrollary to the question found in James. A life without God can’t have any meaning, and thus, for someone who doesn’t know God, the answer to the question is, “nothing.” My life is nothing without God. Without God, everything is random, meaningless, devoid of content and purpose.

In stark contrast, with God, there is meaning, order, purpose, motivations. What is my life? My life is God’s, and I am to honor Him by living a life of love, to honor Him and my neighbour and my family. It’s our point of view that will inevitably shape our answers to life’s greatest questions.

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