I want to talk about purpose today. Discovering the purpose for my life has always been something I’ve wondered, asked, and pursued since I was born. Maybe you too have always wondered, “What should I do with my life? Why am I here? What is my purpose?”.
Over the last couple years, as I’ve had bills come in and the focus of my life has been on college and a career, I’ve noticed the specific emphasis placed on that in our society. I can’t help but feel like the purpose of my life is to have a “good” job in order to make money so that I can have material possessions and creature comforts. Nothing is wrong with having a good job and a career. In fact, I’m all in support for hard work and diligence. Work is a necessity for the bare minimum of provision. However, a career – making money – can’t be the end all be all of life. A job day in and day out that stresses you, overworks you, and makes you crash as soon as you get home just to fall asleep and have to wake up and continue the cycle another day, is not my idea of what the purpose of life should be like. At least, that’s not what I want the purpose of my life to be. So how do we shape our purpose and what are the boundaries of doing so?
Our Purpose is Dependent on What Defines Us
Regardless of what we want our purpose to look like, our purpose is dependent upon what defines us. Who are you? A mom or dad, wife or husband, brother or sister, son or daughter, friend? Police officer or manager, employee or employer, student or teacher? Whatever defines you, your purpose is to meet the needs of what it is that has given you that title first and foremost for however long you possess it whether you want to or not. Whatever you are be a good one.
I am a believer. This means my purpose is to fulfill God’s will for my life. (John 7:17) Believe it or not, God’s will is not fate or destiny. God’s will is not the bullseye of a target. God’s will is guided by ideas and principles that lead us into an entire field of possibilities. God’s will is anything within the circle of the target.
Such instances where His will is defined:
- Be joyful in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
- Never stop communicating with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Be thankful no matter what (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Live purely (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
- Do good: “live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:15-16)
- God’s will for His Son is the same as His will for believers. We are called to love and in doing so sacrifice ourselves – our will/desires – for that of others’ so they can see a picture of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made because of His love for us.
Our Purpose is Found in the Pursuit of Our Passions
We’ve been given gifts and talents. Some can sing others can draw. Maybe you’re just really good at communication or comforting someone in need. My spiritual gifts are exhortation, wisdom, and faith. My physical gifts are writing and photography. These may be God’s gifts to me, but to use them – and use them for God’s glory – is showing my gratitude and giving Him my gifts in return.
Create a Visual
- Make a list of your passions, talents, and dreams. What do you enjoy, aspire to do, accomplish, and achieve?
- Make a list of your responsibilities based on what defines you. Being a homeowner requires you to pay the mortgage and water bill. Being a mom means taking care of and providing for your children.
- Looking at your passions, which ones align with your responsibilities?
- Now, set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.