Feb 282014 7 Responses

Three Loves to Change Your Life

Whenever I speak to someone who is just getting started in life, I often tell them what I think is the secret to a satisfying life.

Those who have a deep appreciation for life all seem to share three things in common. (See: Read This Before Your Die)

These three characteristics aren’t laws which are true for every person, but they are general principles which I have seen play out in the lives of hundreds of church members, friends, and those who have shared their lives with me.

If someone is seeking a satisfying life, I encourage them to locate three loves.

The Three Loves

Love what you do. Never has there been a time in which people have as much choice regarding what they do. Gone are the days of one job worked over one lifetime with sole purpose of putting food on the table. We now live in a day in which people have great freedom not only to find a job that pays but also to find a job that they truly enjoy.

No one has to start in a job they love, but as soon as you can begin working toward a job which you love, the better you will be. And even if you can’t find a job you love, what you do does not have to be defined by a job. Maybe the job just pays the bills, but it allows you to do what you love after work and on the weekends. (See: How to Determine What to Do at Work, Home, and Life)

Find the intersection of your passions, abilities, and needs of the world to find something which you love to do.

Love where you are. Happy people love where they live. It doesn’t mean they find it perfect. As a matter of fact, the imperfection is often the key to the happiness because the imperfection allows for them to contribute to their community. If you are looking for the perfect place to live, you are likely to find a place which doesn’t need you. Don’t find a place that is perfect, find a place  is in that is in need of what you have to offer.

Love who you’re with. Life is only meaningful when shared with others. This might begin with a spouse, but it also includes friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

When I was a senior in college and was looking for the right graduate school, I sought advice from our college President. We spoke at length about which school and program might be the right one. As the conversation came to a close, he looked at me and said, “You know this really doesn’t matter, right?” I was confused and asked what he meant. He said, “All your choices are good and you are making sure you make a wise decision. But where you go to school doesn’t matter in comparison to who you marry. She can make you or break you.” He was right. (See: Top 5 Marriage Posts of 2013)

Nothing is more influential than who you marry, yet other relationships are vital as well. Who will you work with or for? With whom will you choose to spend your time away from work? Who will be the people in your life?

Life is much more satisfying when you spend most of your day with people you love.

A Secret About Love…

What many people fail to miss about these three pathways to happiness is that we are not enslaved to our hearts. We control our hearts far more than our hearts control us. We can choose what to love. (See: Stop Listening to Your Heart)

This means if you married the wrong person, chose the wrong career, and can’t stand where you live, you can change your attitude about all three oftentimes easier than you can actually change all three. In most cases, you can learn (or re-learn) to love who you married. You can find appreciation in the job you currently have. And you can grow your passion for your current location.

While it’s easier to chose the three and stay in love with them, we can also backdoor the process by learning to love our current station in life.

A Personal Note…

Few things make me feel as fortunate in life as the fact that I love what I do, where I do it, and who I do it with.

As a pastor and writer, I get to continually communicate about the things I find important. While it has it’s challenges, it has far more joys.

I do so in a town where I grew up. It’s not a perfect place, but it is a good place with good people.

And I do it in partnership with the best woman I know, working alongside my closest friends, and serving with some of the most loving people in the world.

Do you want to change your life? Learn to love what you do, where you are, and who you are with.

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7 Responses to Three Loves to Change Your Life
  1. Caleb Reply

    Jesus even commands us that we “love” and “pray” for our enemies. By mentioning praying for them he was giving us an action; therefore, it would make sense that the “love” he was talking about is also an action. He must have wanted us to act love toward our enemies. If he wants us to act out love toward those who treat us the worse, how much more should we act out love for all of those people and things in between?

  2. dennyneff Reply

    Paul said “Contentment with godliness is great gain”. There is so much to be said with blooming where you are planted. Unrest seems to be the bane of our culture today. People I know are angry about everything in and around their lives. They are so unhappy and that unhappiness is leading them lash out. Often they don’t really know what they are lashing out at, they just want to fight. It’s seems so mindless and I can’t help but feel it has its root in their lack of contentment. As you said people need to “learn to love what you do, where you are, and who you are with.” If they can just learn to do this one thing in their lives I think they will find much more peace in their lives.

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