There is a movement that is pretty strong and only gaining momentum. This is a force to be reckoned with and it has found its way onto may social media platforms–complete with cute quotes and pictures that are meant to empower and inspire. And light a fuse. This movement is: the Best Life NOW.
Because I like to be creative, I will be capitalizing “NOW” for the duration of this post. And I will also provide you with some thoughts on why the #BestLifeNOW movement is toxic to our hearts and souls. And because I am a pastor by trade and writer by hobby, I will play wordsmith and break down the elements of the movement.
Best: This implies that you are creating the BEST life for yourself. You are making things happen. You will make things happen right now and no one will stop you! One Google search and you will see that the Best Life has been greatly aimed at women. “You don’t need anyone”. “You don’t need a man”. “You do you!” The issue with these theories is they are crap. We are relational beings. God made us in His image during the act of Creation. God created us for perfect fellowship with Him and then Adam and Eve messed it up.
Adam and Eve wanted their best life too. In the Garden, the serpent (translated as Satan) tempted Adam and Eve to want more and more. They gave in and they broke that perfect relationship with God. Many times, people read the Bible and only point to Satan tempting Jesus. As you see, evil has existed since the beginning of Creation. Evil lingers in our heart and causes us to be selfish. If you want to focus on being the best, start with yourself but not the exterior: relationships, job, selfies, etc. Start with your heart. The best worldview you can operate in is in one where you know the world does not revolve around you. Start in God, not the world.
Life: Our life is not our own. Time is not unlimited on Earth. This is not to scare you but to make you aware of how fragile life is. People cry for joy when they become parents and cry in sorrow when they lose their parents or loved ones. When people are near the end of life, they will often look back and have regrets. They should have, would have, could have. This is a normal human response. Their normal human response is also the end of time with others. Life is precious. When we view life as more than these monumental moments and more about the everyday love that we can give others; it will rock our world. Consistent is more important than magnificent.
NOW: Herein lies my biggest issue with the #BestLife movement: the NOW. Now = everything is about the here and now and forget the future. This is bad ideology and if you believe in God, this is really bad theology. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer in our churches and at funerals and weddings, we pray “your Kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth and it is in Heaven”. We sometimes forget that the Christian life is not just getting our passport stamped for a future in Heaven. It is about the now and the future.
The Christian NOW should look different than the world’s NOW. The Christian’s NOW should be on relationships that are healthy and fruitful while staying GROUNDED in Jesus. We are grounded in Jesus and this keeps us open to continually being made more like Christ. Growth is a daily process. We are never done. The world’s now is about instant gratification: people are a temporary means to a greater gain. When someone is advocating to “live their best life now”, they must be careful what fire they will play with to move on up.
We must also look to the future. One day, we will walk with Jesus in Heaven. We will be free of any suffering, racism, hate, turmoil, etc–that we see on Earth. When we walk with Jesus, it will be a glorious moment. And that, my friends, is truly living the Best Life.