When I think about how I'd define a "good day," several pieces have to fall into place.
First, I need to feel good — healthy and whole. I need to be happy with my appearance. I need to eat pretty good food. And most importantly, I need to be productive. If I don't outright slay my to-do list, I must at least make a respectable dent.
A good day often includes small treats or surprises — new sweater, incredible dinner, favorite tv show, fabulous weather. It doesn't need to be extravagant; it just needs to make me happy.
Ultimately, I define a good day as a day that pleased me.
And that is completely wrong.
It's breathtakingly selfish, really. That's exactly the thing an unbeliever would say. Paul Tripp reminded me of this sucker-punching truth in his daily devotional, New Morning Mercies.
"I am still tempted to assess the 'good' of a day by whether it pleased me versus whether I pleased God and was loving toward others."
A good day shouldn't be about whether I was happy. It should be about whether I made God happy.
This morning I read 2 Kings 17-18, the devastating account of Israel's capture and exile. Again and again the author reinforced the stark truth: this was Israel's fault. They were entrenched in idolatry and had turned their backs on the Lord. This was judgment, punishment for their wicked ways.
This is how the author summed up Israel's sin: "They neither listened nor obeyed" (2 Kings 18:12).
For a Christian to have the best day ever, there doesn't need to be great food or great television. They simply need to listen and obey. They need to shift the focus from pleasing themselves to pleasing God. They must serve others, not themselves.
I need to remember this today, as I stare down my to-do list, as I make decisions on how to use my time, as I think about others. And I need to ask myself these two questions: Will I listen to God? Will I obey God?
Because that's how I'll have a good day.