Stoics taught that your purpose was to 1) cultivate virtue and 2) live a contented life. They were strict determinists, so they thought you should make the best out of what you can’t control. This fatalistic approach of “Life sucks! Be good anyway!” is very empty and depressing.
We are all naturally self-centered, imperfect human beings who consistently wreak havoc on this earth. Do we really want humankind to define virtue given our abysmal track record throughout history? Further, if virtue is self-created in each temporarily living individual, how can it be meaningful or authoritative?
An even bigger conundrum for the Stoic is – how do we determine a contented life? Any magazine on the grocery store rack shows celebrities tortured by their #Ihaveitall lives. Clearly possessions and accomplishments don’t result in contentment.
It is also impossible to find perfect contentment within ourselves – because it would require perfect human beings – and none of us are perfect! Think of it this way – in the same way light and darkness can’t exist in the same space, perfection and imperfection can’t exist in the same being. In order to find true contentment we must look for perfection in a Being outside of ourselves. The very definition of a perfect Being who is perfectly content is…God! We need to be looking in the right places for perfect contentment. Not in us, but in Him.
The Epicureans believed life was all about pursuing pleasure. You should strive for physical health and peace of mind, both of which would supposedly free you from pain. Of course, we all know that outside natural forces (life) and the moral imperfections of humankind (evil) prevent this ultimate Nirvana. Despite the allure and emphasis on pleasure in our society today, endless amounts of pleasure can be just as unsatisfying as pain. In fact, it’s sometimes even worse because it falls so short of all our hopes and expectations! The endless repetition of pleasure ultimately only unmasks the meaninglessness of life.
Skeptics taught that we can never know anything for sure, so nobody can be trusted and you should treat life with indifference. This is a miserable way to exist. Even worse, the misery is only compounded when you believe in a finite life that ends with no hope of something better – just death and oblivion.
Intuition tells us that purpose and meaning in life can’t be artificially created and manipulated by our own actions. I can be intentional about pursuing knowledge, virtue, contentment, and pleasure but still lack purpose and meaning in my life. Heck, people aspire daily to these attributes throughout the world and they are still miserable!
Pain still exists, evil still destroys, pleasure still numbs, routine still distracts – and our purpose becomes obscured through it all!
If I am honest with myself, my soul, my inner voice, my instinct – whatever you want to call it – I know two things for sure: 1) I was made for so much more, and 2) I know that purpose/meaning is more than just my own self-determination. So where do I find it?
What if you could discover purpose and meaning that wasn’t dependent on your actions, feelings, knowledge or accomplishments? What if you could experience a deep, authentic love that gives meaning to purpose? What if you could be introduced to a raw, real, relevant spiritual faith that defies all your preconceived notions?
WE believe the answers can be found in the person of Jesus Christ, who perfectly demonstrated love and purpose. We don’t want to tell you what to believe, we want to help you discover this for yourself.
You can read through the Gospel of John in the Bible and discover Jesus Christ for yourself – without all the religious filters. Who did Jesus say he was? What was his purpose on earth? How is He relevant to you? Find your answers from the original source.
We don’t want to dictate dogma to you, we want to engage you in dialogue…so we would love to hear from you! Email us (email@example.com) or text us (804.491.9898) your comnents, questions, or thoughts using #WeChat in the subject line. You will receive a personal response from one of us here at WE!