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Does My Life Have Meaning?

Does my life have any meaning? If my life has meaning, where does it come from? You don’t need to have experienced an existential crisis to have pondered upon these questions; you only need to be human. Even where you may attach meaning to your life you may still feel within yourself that there has got to be “more” than your ascribed meaning grasps. However, if you believe that God created the world and everything in it, you have a more solid basis to establish your meaning upon in which your fulfilment and joy are maximised in the present whilst simultaneously dealing with that longing for “more”.

Created in the image of God

The power, creativity and beauty with which God crafted the world is majestically displayed throughout the creation account. On the fifth day, God created the animals of the air and sea (Genesis 1:20-25), followed by the land animals on the sixth. We then arrive at the pinnacle of His work: the creation of human beings.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26-27

God created humans with a uniqueness that separates us from the rest of creation. We are made in His image and likeness (the imago Dei). We resemble God in the immaterial sense. We share His communicable attributes, possessing personality, morality and spirituality, enabling us to fellowship with Him and reflect His glory. The entire world is God’s masterpiece, but humanity is the crown jewel of His creative work. The meaning we receive from being created in His likeness, surpasses anything we could ever attach to our ourselves. It is divine in its very origin, giving our lives inextinguishable and absolute value and meaning.

What are the alternatives?

Without the image of God, there is no objective meaning or value that is inherent in human life. This presents both rational and moral problems. Rejecting creationism and embracing naturalistic evolutionary theories means that all which exists is matter and nature. However, as human beings, we love and care for one another. We have a sense of morality and justice. Can this really be a result of natural selection which is essentially survival of the fittest? The impersonal and purely biological evolutionary explanations of how we came into being fail to account for the attributes above.

Even some secularists have concluded that the absence of an objective basis on which our meaning is grounded, which is compromised by naturalistic evolutionary theories, produces a meaningless existence. In light of this, French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said:

“I understand that life is meaningless, what I can’t understand is why I haven’t killed myself yet.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

Surely a better explanation seems to be offered in God creating humanity in His image, thus sharing these attributes with Him, the One who made them.

What about morality?

We all have an inner sense of morality. We’re outraged by injustices and evil. The evil, suffering and pain you and I feel doesn’t matter a thing if there is no objective morality; but we know they do matter. We believe in good and evil which in turn implies a moral law. For a moral law to exist, there must be a moral law giver (God), without whom there can be none of the above. Evolution fails to explain this because it fails to assume implicit worth for a moral law giver and the imago Dei.

There’s something within us that is dissatisfied with accrediting the fact that we love and experience love, to a trait developed by nature which the fittest displayed for the sake of survival and reproduction. Atheists such as Sam Carroll may raise the objection that we are simply reading the above onto the universe. But it’s less likely that we could successfully do so across the globe from generation to generation for over 2000 years. A transcendental reality in the being of God who created people with the same longing for that which is good, beautiful, true and moral whilst being all these things in His nature seems more plausible.

What about eternity?

At one point or another, we’ve all had that aching within us “there’s got to be more to life than this”. This longing for more within ourselves gives us a sense that all the world has to offer us doesn’t quite satisfy in the long run. Hedonistic pursuits where we jump from one pleasure to another prove futile as their gratification is temporal. This is because we all have a God-given awareness that there is something more than this transient world.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

The God who made us for His pleasure (Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11), is the source of joy and fulfilment our souls are aching after because He personally imprinted us with His image. He desires to reconcile us unto Himself, delivering us from our sin and into relationship with Him as we stand before Him in the righteousness of His Son we receive by faith.

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Shumi Mararike
Alongside his Law undergraduate studies, Shumi is on the teaching team at Abide campus fellowship. He is also a youth mentor in both London and Manchester. Shumi's passion to faithfully, accurately and boldly share the Gospel inspired him to join the editorial team at OGGM to help others do the same.
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