Religion Magazine

Meaning Of Life Discussions Are Futile

By Albert Wagner @albertwagner4
When people hear the phrase "The Meaning Of Life", what usually comes to mind?
The typical responses are probably similar to these :
  • The Meaning Of Life is to give your life meaning
  • The Meaning Of Life is just to be happy
  • The Meaning Of Life is what you want it to be
These seem to be typical responses to the question. For the author, at least, these responses do NOT suffice.  Here is why.
The Meaning Of Life should include something about eternal life, or what happens after you die.
That is my opinion, anyway.
If you agree that this life is all there is, then even the words in the Bible agree there would be no meaning to it.  Please refer to the Book Of Ecclesiastes, which is King Solomon's (Son Of King David) description of a life without God.  What is his conclusion as the wisest person on earth?  A life without God is meaningless AND futile.
However, in these blog posts it is asserted there CAN be a life with God and that is what brings life meaning and value.
When a Google search was performed for the word "meaning" this is what was displayed:
Meaning - "intended to communicate something that is not directly expressed."
What Does "Mean" Mean?
The part that reads "not directly expressed" is what makes it interesting. It could be referring to life, as opposed to (physical) death.  It could also be referring to more than that, which is what the author thinks.
God might not be directly expressed unless you are looking for him.   It has been said the effects of the Holy Spirit are like the wind.  You do not see the wind, but you see the effects of it. 
In regard to the larger realm, in the Gospels it is declared he is "not the God of the dead, but of the living." (Gospel Of Mark 12:27, Gospel Of Luke 20:38)   This means that the dead are living in this sense.
It only makes sense that the Meaning Of Life would incorporate the afterlife.  It has already been asserted that a life without God is meaningless (Book Of Ecclesiastes).  It is in this context that the Meaning Of Life should be discussed.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.   - Gospel Of John 10:10
It is generally believed by the Church that this verse is referring to eternal life.  In the context of eternal life  everything that happens in this life has more of an impact.  
Meaning Of Life
Sure, the Meaning Of Life could be summarized by stating how much wealth you accumulate.  That is certainly true for many people. Those people who think the Meaning Of Life is to be "happy" usually base it at least in part on wealth.
These posts, however, focus on how what you do now impacts eternity.  This is a whole new ball game.  A parable comes to mind about The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).  Basically the parable shows how a person wealthy in this world might suffer in the next world, and vice versa.
WHY Do You Do What You Do?
A discussion like that about the Meaning Of Life would not be futile.  It would not be futile because it communicates something not directly expressed.  It is not directly expressed, for example, how the wealth was accumulated or if it was being used for good or evil.  God is not against wealth directly, but only when the pursuit of it comes before following God.
In this society wealth is viewed as a good thing.  However, in the opinion of this author, success (wealth) in a capitalist society often means doing immoral things in the process.  The belief is to step on anyone's toes you have to to climb the corporate ladder.
A Meaning Of Life Discussion, WITH Meaning
Meaning in life not only involves what is being done, but also in why it is done, which is often not directly expressed.  Discussions involving the Meaning Of Life should include things like the afterlife, which include what is internal as well as external.
As internal and external factors are BOTH included in a Meaning Of Life discussion, with God in the picture, it has value.  Pr to put it another way,
The purpose of your life fits a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity.  That’s what this book is all about.                                                        - Rick Warren, from his book Purpose Driven Life 
That statement from Rick Warren's book sums it up very well, other than to ask:
What is the meaning of YOUR life?   
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Why Add Meaning To Life?
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