In my book Live the Significant Life, I defined life as God’s nature. I said it’s the quality we share with God because the Scripture makes us understand that when God breathed into man, he became a living soul. That’s about all we will ever get without any efforts on our part. Beyond the life (of God) we all have, what every one of us becomes and invariably possesses is dependent on our ability to overcome the challenges we face in life.
Notwithstanding the fragility, complexity and strangeness of life, most people have come to terms with the fact that life is good. As with everything that’s good, life is also challenging. To get the good things life offers, you have to pay the acquisition price. What constitutes the acquisition price is the focus of this article.
The biggest challenge in life is to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you deserve to receive good things from life. When you’ve proved to be a deserving recipient, life will have no choice but to deliver the good it has to you. It doesn’t matter whether you already have what may be considered enough of good things or not.
The last sentence above is very important because it’s the reason those that have keep getting more (because they deserve more). This is something many people don’t understand; they wonder why life is so good to a few other people. It is therefore worth reiterating that in deciding whether you get the good or not, all life does is to check whether you’re deserving of the good or not.
Once life finds you deserving, it opens its treasury to you and when it considers you undeserving, the treasury remains tightly closed.
There’s no doubt that there are people who, though undeserving, force (burgle) their way into life’s treasury and treat themselves to the good things therein. The point to note is that such people’s lives can’t be considered success stories because the negative consequences of their action far outweigh any short-term gains.
Real Life Scenarios
Despite the fact that life is unequivocal about who its treasury gets opened to, it’s grieving that many people ignore these clear signals and choose to get the good life offers based on need rather than work to deserve them. Below are some of the real life situations, at least in my environment, that a lot of people often do a poor job of deserving the inherent good:
Obtaining bank loans
As a loan officer in the bank, it was always a tough call explaining to customers why their loan applications were turned down. After you were done explaining and you thought the customer got your point, his or her next comment proved you were wrong. Some even resort to name calling. You often hear, “You bankers are insensitive. You don’t give money to people that need it, you only give money to rich people!”
I remember telling one of the customers who mouthed the above statement that he was right. I said, “Banks don’t give loans to people that need them… Loans are given to customers that have provided enough evidence that they will pay back and those customers happen to be those you call rich people!” I went on to explain that instead of fighting the system, he should focus on proving that he can pay back.
Getting entry visas
Do you know those that secure entry visas into foreign countries? Answer: People that can prove they will not become a menace in the countries they are seeking entry visas into. These are people that are well off in their country of residence so much so that leaving for another country appears a risky venture. They are the people that deserve to be given visas.
If you’re worse off in your home country and there are prospects that you’ll be better off in a foreign country where the ‘pasture is greener’, even though you desperately need the visa, chances are that you’ll not be given.
Guess the couple that ends up with a happy marriage: the ones that pay the price of commitment to their marital vows. Marital bliss is not available by affirmation; it’s by committed actions based on knowledge.
The Scripture is emphatic about this subject. It says: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord… Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her.” (Ephesians 5: 22-25). If your attitude is that the above biblical injunctions are old-fashioned, it’s questionable if you really deserve a happy marriage.
The joy of parenting
If you want to experience the joy of parenting, you have to pay the price by disciplining your child. The Scripture offers a lot of insight into how this can be achieved. We read, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). In verse 15, it says: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” When you follow these principles, experiencing the joy of parenting becomes non-negotiable.
I know a mother who when her son did wrong, instead of disciplining him, she said, “Jesus will be glorified in your life!” Whenever I heard her say that, I thought, “So if your son doesn’t turn out well, Jesus will not be glorified?” The boy is now a man. Expectedly, he’s not making any measurable progress and the mother is now ashamed of him.
Access to financial resources
Mike Murdock said, “Money is the reward you receive for solving people’s problem.” In effect, if you’re not solving anybody’s problems, you don’t deserve to receive any financial rewards.
Unfortunately, most people do a lot more of making their need for money more evident than searching out how they can become valuable to others by solving their problems. To accentuate their need for money, some people have perfected the art of looking pitiable. Sadly, even when this strategy works, these people only get pittance for their efforts!
Jesus made a fundamental statement that I see as something that binds everything about deserving the good things of life together. In Matthew 7: 7- 8, Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”
Depending on the circumstances you’re in, it’s either you ask, seek or knock, or do a combination of asking, seeking and knocking. When you do, you deserve to get what you ask for, find what you’re seeking or walk through an open door.
Most important question in life
Closely linked to the biggest challenge in life is the most important question in life, which is: What kind of person must I become to deserve the good things of life? It is the entire process of becoming the person who deserves life’s good that is called Personal Development.
Steps to overcoming life’s biggest challenge
There are two steps to overcoming life’s biggest challenge:
Develop your full potentials
This is about becoming all that you can possibly become. It starts with identifying your gifts/skills/talents and developing them.
Developing your gifts has the unique ability of creating opportunities for you (Proverbs 18:16).
Use your resources wisely
This is a no-brainer. When you use your resources wisely, life will have no choice but to open its treasury to you.
Two most important resources you must make every effort to use wisely are your time and your money. The wise use of your resources has the power to deliver good things to you.
When you take the above steps, you would have overcome the biggest challenge in life. As a consequence, the good things of life will naturally flow to you, not because you need them but because you deserve them.