After the past year of dealing with the realities of Covid-19, many of us are ready to return to a more normal life. At the same time, as we start doing so, a lot of us are wondering what normal even looks like anymore. Some of us are wondering if we really want everything to go back to the way they were before the pandemic began. Some of us aren’t sure what we want out of life after Covid.
Join us for a new series that will dig into the question of what we want out of life in ways that will help you move past simple desires and toward identifying what it is that you really want.
Scripture: James 4:1-3
We begin the series with a simple question: What do you want?
Of course, the more you think about that question, the more complicated it gets because what we want is often a moving target. Add to the equation that even when we get what we want we aren’t always satisfied and sometimes getting what we want can actually cause us to suffer.
In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis describes hell as a place where everyone gets everything they want just by thinking of it.
The bottom line for James is that the cravings within us are causing us to strive for things we want in ways that are not always healthy. He then says that the reason we aren’t getting what we want is because we are asking wrong – we are only after pleasure. As long as that is our primary drive, we may get want we want now but we may not get what we really want in the long run.
The key to discovering what we really want is identifying what we truly value.
Scripture: Romans 7:15-19
As we continue to ask the question, “What do you want?,” we will dig a little deeper into the reality that what we really want is not based on any immediate or short-term desire, but instead, it is based on what we truly value.
The tricky part is that once we identify what we truly value, there are natural tendencies within us that will pull us away from those deeper values. As Paul points out, even though we know what we want, we will still do what we don’t want to do because we are often deceived by those natural tendencies.
Holding to our values is not always easy, but in the end, the effort pays off in so many ways.
Scripture: Galatians 5:19-26
In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he asks the reader to imagine that they are attending a funeral, only to discover that it is actually their own and that it will take place three years from that day. He then asks the reader to imagine that there are four people who will speak at the service: a family member, a friend, a colleague, a member of your church or some community organization that you have served.
What do you want them to say about you and your life? What kind of spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or relative are you? What kind of friend are you? What kind of colleague are you? How did you help the world become a better place?
In answering those questions, we begin to dig even deeper into what we value and what we really want in our lives.
By shaping our deepest hopes for a life well lived with God’s deepest hopes for our lives, we can begin to set a course for our future, one where keeping the end in mind can shape the present in very powerful ways.
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2
We wrap up this series by revisiting some of the themes talked about up to this point and focusing on the new life we have been given in Christ. A life not merely gained in heaven, but one that can be fully experienced on earth. A life where we are transformed by the will of God and live fully into what it means to be Disciples of Christ.
As Christians, we aren’t supposed to just ask what it is that we really want for ourselves, but also for the world around us and for all of God’s children.
Series art and titles used with permission from North Point Ministries.