Enjoy Life!

What does it mean to enjoy life? 

Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. (Psalm 34:12-16) 

Saint Peter repeated the same thing in the New Testament.

“He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-14) 

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17) 

Who wants to love life and see good days? What are some active steps we can take to enjoy life?

  1. The ability to enjoy everything with God

One of the signs of maturity is the ability to enjoy life. Many people have everything, yet are not able to enjoy what they have. And many people have very little, yet are able to be happy and enjoy what little they have. Enjoying life “with God” is important because we have to realize that it is not sinful enjoyment that we are speaking of. “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Marriage, children, work, good food, and even entertainment are all to be enjoyed as long as we keep God in the midst. 

King Solomon the wise says “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?” (Eccl. 3:22). Be happy with all that you have, and always thank God for it. Most people do not enjoy life because they keep looking too far ahead wondering what will happen and thereby fail to enjoy the moments they are currently living. Enjoy today, and thank God for it without worrying about tomorrow and about what will be. It is possible that today you are living what you were only dreaming of a few months ago or a few years ago. 

King Solomon also says “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.” (Eccl. 2:24). The food we eat, is a result of our labor and God’s blessing in our life. We should enjoy it, and be thankful for it. “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. (Eccl. 9:7). We sometimes eat with sorrow, or have no desire or gratefulness for the food we consume and are also picky about what we eat while there are many hungry people in the world. “Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil.” (Eccl. 9:8). There is nothing wrong with dressing elegantly, or getting a nice haircut and taking care of yourself. 

“Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.” (Eccl. 9:9). Enjoy your family, and all that you have, because it is a gift from God for you to be happy with.Therefore the ability to enjoy life requires training because we have many things that should be enjoyable but that we are unable to enjoy. Try to enjoy your day. Enjoy your relationships, your family, your children, and even the strangers around you. The love of people is an enjoyable matter that we should be thanking God for daily.

  1. Watch what you say

To enjoy life, we must watch what we say. Our tongues are powerful tools that could cause our lives to be full of happiness, or be full of sorrow. Do not respond a curse with a curse, and say no bad words. The person that uses their tongue to thank God daily, is a person that enjoys life. Be encouraging to others. Not with likes on social media, but with truly meant words of support. Do not gossip about others, but speak out positivity. Also be prepared to say you are sorry when needed, and be careful in choosing your words when speaking. Be quiet and listen when needed, and speak when something needs to be said.

  1. Be Balanced

Be balanced in your life. Being balanced is another sign of maturity. In this day and age we live extreme lives. Extreme working hours, extreme laziness, extreme ambition that stops at nothing (even at the expense of others), extreme habits, extreme fashion etc. If we truly want to enjoy life, we must be reasonable and balanced. At the end of the day we are humans and we must sleep, eat, laugh, cry etc. “For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity. (Eccl. 2:22-23). King Solomon here speaks of being extreme; of laboring and working so hard that even at night we cannot rest, and we are burdened and sorrowful. How many times do we find ourselves consumed by our work, responsibilities, ambitions, and goals that we simply fail to enjoy any of it. Just another e-mail, just another phone call, that even at night our heart takes no rest.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven (Eccl. 3:1). God created night for us to rest, yet some of us do not rest at night. God created day for working, yet some of us sleep during the day. God created the Sabbath for rest, yet many of us still work on our Sundays. Sometimes, we only think about tomorrow, and fail to enjoy today. It’s today’s turn, tomorrow will have it’s time. He who enjoys life, does everything within its season, thanking God for every moment. There is a time to gain, and a time to lose. Do not be too upset with losing, as it is the nature of life; accept thankfully and move on. There is time for people, but also time for yourself. A time to save, and a time to spend. A time to eat lavishly, and a time to fast. A time for emotions, and a time to think logically. In all that we do, let us be balanced and reasonable. 

  1. Look Forward

When we suffer a hardships that eventually pass, we must look ahead and move on. Being stuck in the past only causes resentment and hurt. He who does not forget, will not be happy. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (Phill. 3:13). We must reach ahead, we must look forward and move on. Our Lord Jesus was more specific and said “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). We cannot live life and get our work done if we keep looking backwards with regrets or pain.

  1. Do not worry about unnecessary matters

“Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.” (Eccl. 7:21). Do not waste brain space, time and your concerns with trivial matters. Many of us concern ourselves too much with the opinion of others, or we overanalyze and dissect certain matters unnecessarily. This can rob of us of our peace and happiness and we must avoid it. Watch your mind, so that it does not fill itself with trifling thoughts. Do not exhaust yourself with worrying, and do not take to heart what should not matter.

6. Watch your boundaries

Avoid evil-doers. Do not judge others, or hate them, but watch your boundaries with certain people who rob you of your peace. “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful, (Psalm 1:1). If you find that certain people are not acting in a Godly manner, beware, and in all politeness excuse yourself from their company. Know who to interact with. Also, do not let others force you to do certain things; be steadfast in your Godly opinions without wavering under peer pressure

7. Help Others

Helping others brings overwhelming happiness. Even a smile, or a beautiful word said to a person in need, will give you joy. You will never regret helping others, as these are some of the most valuable moments of our lives. Helping others find their way, or find their message in life, is a beautiful thing as well. Teach all those around you how to enjoy and love life.

– From a Sermon of Father Daoud Lamei 

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