Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Meaning of Life

What’s life about? For many, it’s about proving to themselves and to the world that they are a “somebody.” Some call it “self-actualization.” The late and influential psychologist, Abraham Maslow, made this term an emblem for the “me-generation.” According to psychiatrist Sally Satel, Maslow maintained that, in order to flourish,

"Human beings must first satisfy their basic needs for food, water, shelter, and safety. As soon as these basic needs are met, a new set emerges: “belonging needs” and “esteem needs”…Individuals who felt safe, loved, and confident…could then move on to a higher state of creative or ethical being…" (One Nation Under Therapy, 60)

This is Maslow’s arduous ladder to success that must be climbed and endured if we are going to become “self-actualized.” It’s essentially up to us. However,

"Maslow claimed that only a small percentage of human beings, no more than 2 percent manage to reach this higher stage of being." (61)

Consequently, 98 percent represent the losers—a painful and discouraging thought to those of us who want to be the “somebodies.” (Maslow continues to remain popular, but that’s among the multitudes who all regard themselves as part of the 2 percent! Such is human denial!)

In contrast to this, in Christ, we are all important and beloved (Ephesians 3:17-20). We don’t have to worry if we’ll make it because we’ve arrived (Galatians 2:20)! It’s no longer about us, but about Him (Romans 8:31-32)! He has taken charge of our lives, and we represent His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). We don’t have to worry whether we are good enough for this honor—and we aren’t!—because He has given us the gift of His righteousness:

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21)

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