Before going any further, I suppose it would be prudent to define what constitutes a “good life.” It would also be helpful to know how God decides to bestow such good lives to those upon whom He looks so favorably. Conversely, it would also be insightful to understand how a bad life is de facto proof of God’s disfavor.
I mention this because most people equate good and bad lives with materialistic values. A good life is filled with comfort, health, security, wealth, status, respectability, image, hedonism, and possessions. A bad life is a severe lack of some or all of these things. Thus, having a big bank account and a lot of fun equals God smiling down upon me while being poor and miserable is a guaranteed sign of God frowning upon me.
The biggest problem with this shallow approach to spirituality is the smugness it breeds in those who live comfortable, respectable lives. People in such situations regard their lives as proof of having earned or deserved God’s good grace – minus the understanding that grace is usually defined as an unearned or undeserved favor.
Grace aside, the self-satisfaction and spiritual complacency of good-lifers often defies description. By regarding their “blessings” as evidence of God’s approval, good-lifers rarely, if ever, penetrate the surface of their ultimate reality and professed spirituality.
On the flip side, those who experience “bad lives” often obsess about being on the receiving side of God’s displeasure and regard any improvement in their superficial circumstances as evidence of winning God’s favor.
I’m not sure where I am going with this stray thought other than to say that the good life/bad life dichotomy that appears to dominate much of what parades around as spirituality sorely misses the mark of what alignment with God and Creation means.
Overly materialistic concerns about life situations should, at best, remain secondary, tertiary, or perhaps even vigenary considerations.