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Living and Loving at a higher level
There are different ways to live this thing called life. Different paths to choose. And we as Christians, because of the model of Jesus and his victory over sin and death, over selfishness and power, we are called to live our lives in a particular way. We are called to be swimming against the grain of our secular culture. Colossians 3 – “seek what is above, not what is of earth.” St. Paul is saying: you need to be different. We can’t lead if you are only following. We can’t change if we are only the same.
What does that look like?
4 levels of happiness - 4 types of love
1. Stuff-related happiness = sense-oriented. Powerful, but disappears as quick as cotton candy.
2. Ego-focused happiness = competition-oriented. Success. Achievements leave more enduring joy but are like a house built on sand. Stable only for a short time.
3. Giving-focused happiness = legacy-oriented. Common good. What can I do for others? How did I build others up today? These are the things you can hang your hat up on, at least for a good while. But in the end, your heart asks, is there something more?
4. Transcendent-focused happiness = God-oriented. Something outside of myself. I cannot fulfill myself. I need something else.
1. Storge - 2. Philia - 3. Eros - 4. Agape -
We Christians are called to live at a higher level.
Look at our commercials and you can see what level of happiness we are focused on: 1 and 2.
What type of love does our world focus on? In some ways, none of them. You can’t really get to these until you are running for happiness at level 3, when you stop putting yourself at the center of the universe.