The Quality of Life


We live in a culture that continually tells us to pursue a higher standard of living in order to improve our quality of life. But “standard of living” and “quality of life” are not the same thing. One has to do with the stuff we accumulate. The other is about the peace we experience regardless of our circumstances.

Of course there are certainly instances when quality of life and standard of living track alongside each other. And in the case of the materially poor, helping those less fortunate to improve their standard of living – access to clean water, electricity, decent education – these things can all have a massive impact on quality of life.

However, for the majority of us reading this blog, the constant call of our culture to pursue a higher standard of living in order to improve our quality of life, can often times be the very thing undermining that quality! Because here’s the truth:

Money doesn’t raise your quality of life, financial breathing room does that.

In fact, for many of us we may need to actually lower our standard of living in order to improve our quality of life. And if you, like me, are a follower of Christ, then you simply can’t obey the teachings of Jesus without financial breathing room because he said not to worry and you’ll worry a lot if you have no financial margin. That’s why Jesus says, “Don’t let your finances be your master”.

Of course this is easier said than done, and certainly not a quick fix. As Andy Stanley says, “You can raise your standard of living with debt, but you can only raise your quality of life with discipline.”

And yet it is that discipline that will ultimately bring us margin, and with that margin, freedom and peace. And THAT is quality of life!

This post was inspired by North Point Church’s “Breathing Room” Series.

7 Replies to “The Quality of Life”

  1. great post.. specially since like you said… most people live beyond their means in order to aspire to a higher standard while really digging themselves into financial debt.


  2. Wonderful post! It’s so often that people forget about the promises of Jesus, He shall supply our needs if we trust in Him. But making “finances” our “master” actually make us trust Him less, and trust our own ability to make money more.

    Karen @


  3. Hey Tom, I was just having this exact discussion with Miranda over the weekend as we deciding where to live and what kind of life we want. It’s a powerful distinction that I believe most people miss.



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