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Ah, the good life—starting each and every day by shuffling barefoot out to the beach, just a few steps from your back door. There’s nothing to do (ever), and not a single care in the world belongs to you.

Sounds amazing, right? Who doesn’t want the good life? But here's the catch: it doesn't exist (at least not according to the way this world defines it).

In reality, a life aimed at amassing wealth for the singular purpose of self-gratification is anything but good. Instead, it’s often complicated, treacherous, and extremely lonely.

The Apostle Paul went so far as to call it “a trap” (1 Timothy 6:9a, NIV). That’s because the so-called good life baits people into believing that money can buy goodness. But this tireless pursuit only pulls the spring-loaded bar of disappointment back further and further. It’s not a question of whether it springs; it’s only a matter of time.

Not even the largest stack of cash can buy true security, happiness, and meaning.

Want the good life, for real? Then take the directions Paul gave to young Timothy. First, give up the single-minded pursuit of treasure, and fix your hope squarely on God. This means a daily re-direction of your worship away from treasure and towards God.

Next, turn your attention to stockpiling righteousness instead of riches. Paul puts it plainly, “Be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:18, NIV)

This life is the exact opposite of this world’s version of the good life. It’s lived only through trusting obedience to Jesus, who alone can release us from the trap of having to pay for what can’t be bought.

Instead, we are free to leave gaudiness behind as we chase godliness. Using our means and manners to bring God glory, we will always produce the same result—genuine goodness, both now and forever.

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