What is a Good Person? What is a Good Life?

The Greek philosophers used several questions to help their students think about how to order their lives.  They asked, 

1) What is a good person? How does one become a good person?
2) What is a good life?  How does one pursue a good life?

These philosophers believed that trying to answer these questions would lead people to pursue "arete" or virtue . It was through the pursuit of virtue that one achieved "eudaimonia"... which is translated as happiness, but is better understood as a life well lived.

Our forefathers had these very concepts on their minds when they wrote our founding charters (life liberty and the pursuit of happiness [eudaimonia]). They tried to set up the kind of country where, because of the freedoms afforded, a person could pursue virtue and thus develop a life well lived.

However, much has changed since then. These kinds of questions are never really addressed in public life anymore.  They are not talked about in school.  They are not pursued at home. They are not debated at city hall. They are not considered by the media or entertainment industry.

And we wonder about the moral decay of the culture or the lack of character in our leaders.

My model for goodness and the good life is Jesus of Nazareth. The  answer to, how to to pursue a good life, has to do with my becoming his student and learning to live my life as if he were me. 

As you think about your life, a simple question to ask might be, "How does my exposure to Jesus change how I live in the real world and the person I am becoming?"

Grace & Peace,
Brad Swope

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