5 Insights About a Life of Purpose
The Purpose Driven Life (it now has a new title: What on Earth Am I Here For?) sold about one billion copies and was translated into 453 languages, including Martian. Well, that is an exaggeration, but not by much! It has sold 40 million copies and has been translated into more then 50 languages.
Why was that book so popular? What made it so attractive?
The answer is simple: PURPOSE.
You were made for purpose. You want purpose. When you don’t have a good purpose and the right purpose, you will have a weak one, a misguided one, a self-centered one, and ultimately, a bad one.
Ephesians 2:10 has been referred to more than once in The Flourishing Project. It needs to be repeated again. Here it is in The Message version:
God does both the making and the saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
1. You do have a purpose.
Everyone does. No exceptions. You are a human being. You are a human “purpose-ing.” You are not just a being who has a purpose, you ARE a purpose. Your being (meaning, identity, existence) is intimately defined by your purpose. This is the Potter and Clay imagery in the Old Testament. (See Isaiah 29:15-17; 45:9-10; 64:8; Jeremiah 18:1-10.)
2. God is the Source of your purpose.
You do not self-determine your purpose. You do not create your own purpose. You receive it as a gift. Your purpose is wired into your very existence.
3. Your purpose comes in the form of work you are to do.
Purpose is a life of active, worthy, joyful, meaningful labor and service that makes a difference to others. It adds value to the world. Your purpose provides something that is needed from others.
4. God has made you and he has made your work.
Here I simply want to provide one of the versions of the famous quote by Frederick Buechner: “Vocation is the place where your deep joy meets the world’s deep need.” The meaning of vocation is to be doing what you were created by God to do. God created good work to do. God created you to do good work. God designed you to do some things and not to do other things.
5. You had better be doing what you are created to do.
You belong to God. You are not your own. You are not the captain of your soul. You are not the master of your universe. You are a creation. You are a child. You are a servant. You are a missional friend. You are a clay vessel. You are entrusted with talents. You are lavished with gifts and resources. You are ACCOUNTABLE. You are accountable because you matter, you are necessary, you are strategic, and you are vital. See Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents.
When you find your purpose, fully engage with that purpose, and become fruitful about that purpose (John 15:1-17), you flourish. And so do others. You have a deep sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.
Without real and meaningful purpose you will not flourish and be happy.
Without any doubt, some of the very happiest people I know are those who have lives rich in purposeful activity.
Living Word is here to help you find your purpose. Some of that purpose will be using your time and talents to make a difference in and through one of our many ministries.
Be sure to take one of our Living Word workshops, Find Your Place, if you have not yet discovered your purpose and found the place where you can do it.