As humans, we all share a profound longing for love. This innate desire to love and be loved is a fundamental part of our existence. However, the nature of our love, what we choose to love, is what truly defines us. Our loves shape our perception of the “good life,” molding us into the individuals we are in this world. They also influence our actions and what we worship. The crucial question is not whether we love, but rather, what do we love?

We live in a vast world, so we seek direction and purpose in the world surrounding us. We look at the lives of others and determine their happiness based only on what we see on the surface. We see happy people in movies, sitcoms, and commercials that serve as illustrations of what the “good life” looks like. We read social media posts of family and friends who appear to be living a life filled with perfect children, perfect lives, and unforgettable vacations. Their lives being communicated to us are far different than our own. Our lives don’t look or feel nearly as dynamic and fulfilled as their lives, and so we begin to feel and believe that there’s something wrong with us, which only intensifies what we often already think of ourselves.

Our lives and relationships have unwittingly turned into a competition, not just with others, but also with the ideals that have been projected onto us. We’ve set unrealistic standards for our lives, influenced by a materialistic, superficial, and ultimately unfulfilling culture. However, the only way to break free from this cycle is through recognition, acceptance, and a willingness to redefine what success truly means.

Our faith and love for Christ need to serve as the moral compass that shapes our lives. It is through Christ that we can recognize the mis-formation of our worldly desires. It’s only when we aim our hearts towards our Creator that we will find true peace and love in our lives.

“Being a disciple is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into our heads in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it’s a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly.”