How to know if you're living life to the full

Kelli Crawford

I walked away from job security, a retirement plan, and excellent health insurance. Many people would say I ruined my life. What was I thinking?!

That job was killing me. I was overloaded in body, mind, and spirit with exceedingly long hours and an ever-growing task list eating away at each day, leaving little time and energy for the work God called me to do. I had to make a choice: Did I want to live a frenzied life or a full life?

Jesus says in John 10:10 that while Satan came to kill and destroy, He came to give us life and life to the full.

A full life only exists when we put Jesus at the center.

Society tells us a full life requires a well-paying job and plentiful pleasures. We are taught to make the best grades, go to the best universities, and get the best jobs, because that is the path to a full life. In reality, a full life only exists when we put Jesus at the center. Finding a full life in Christ takes faith, courage, and a willingness to compare what we’re taught with the truth of the Bible.

Three Facts of a Full Life

1.  A life full of stuff is not the same as a full life.

While culture tells us to work more so we can buy more so we can be more, Jesus warns, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). Material goods are meaningless and only a relationship with Jesus provides the “full life” we’re all searching for.

2. Stability without calling is stifling.

Most of us have (or know someone who has) made a decision based on money. We pick the major most likely to land us a job instead of following God’s call on our life or pursuing our gifting. We take promotions that provide more income but sacrifice our time with family. We take the stable path, the profitable path because it’s sensible not because it’s spiritual.

We take the stable path because it’s sensible not because it’s spiritual.

Having money is not bad or wrong, but if we betray God’s calling — how He wants us to use our gifts and talents — in order to pursue stability, we choke the fountain of blessings in God’s design.

We are all created with specific gifts as part of God’s plan. When we use those gifts for God’s glory, we experience the blessing of a full life (John 15:16). Just as Paul preached because he was “compelled to preach," each of us is compelled to answer our individual callings, callings which will not just go away (1 Corinthians 9:16). Ignoring our callings leaves us stifled by our own disobedience.

3. Striving leads to worry, but seeking Jesus gives us peace.

Striving creates worry because success from our own efforts inevitably implodes. Jesus says, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Without Him we are powerless, but His power in us is unleashed when we obey His calling. There is no need for worry and strife when following Him because He provides for us just as He does for the “birds of the air” and the “flowers of the field” (Matthew 6:26-33). We may not be rich, but Jesus provides everything we need.

Leaving my old job was a difficult decision, a leap of faith. But God greatly blessed my choice to obey His calling. He provided a new job which honors His plan for life to the full, and I know He will provide all that I ever need. When we trust His plan and obey His calling, we will truly experience life to the full.

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