2000-02-02 - What is Your Purpose?
Colossians 1:9b-10 (NLT) We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better.
Recently I hired a company to design a new logo, business cards and stationery for my real estate appraisal business. I wanted to project a professional image and define the purpose of my company with my new business cards. As I jockeyed back and forth with the graphic artist, the lines between who I am, what I do and my purpose in life all seemed to be converging. This caused me to wonder "just what is my purpose in life?" I wonder if Paul's cards said, "Tents-R-Us" or simply Paul the Apostle? Does my perception of my purpose match God's perfect plan? Have I become so wrapped up in what I do for a living that I have forgotten Whom I am living for?
Two dentists had passports. Both traveled to South American to do free dental work in the mission field. One of the dentists never talked about God or spiritual matters to his patients. The other always took any opportunity a patient gave him, to share his knowledge about God. The one who never spoke about God in his work has "missionary" listed as his occupation on his passport; the other listed "dentist" as his. But in reality, one was a dentist who thought he was a missionary; the latter was a missionary who thought he was a dentist! They both are doing great works, but neither one realizes his true purpose in life.
Many men often blur the image of what they do for a living with whom they are. I can't speak for women, but I think some of you do the same thing. It is a pet peeve of mine or maybe just a quirk, but it drives me crazy when I am in a group of people at a social function and invariably when two men meet, the second or third question is, "What do you do for a living?" In my quirky mind, I feel like they are asking, "where do you stand on the socioeconomic ladder?" I want someone to know me for who I am, not what I am. Now the question we have to answer is who I am. What is my purpose? Why is God letting me occupy this little space of earth for a short time?
Now let's imagine that you and I meet for the first time and I ask, "In one sentence, tell me your purpose in life." Quickly now, what is your answer? What you do for a living? Are you living for or through your children? Is your volunteer work your driving force? School? Or something else?A few months ago, I could not have answered that question in a clear concise answer. My answer would have been very long. My purpose is to be the best husband, father, businessperson and employer that God wants me to be. Yours may be similar. As I pondered my purpose over the last few months, it has become clearer to me that these things are not my overall purpose but rather strategies to accomplish a deeper, more meaningful God given purpose. Trying to be a decent person and striving to be the best I can be, flows out of knowing my purpose. So what is my answer to the question? My purpose in life is to get to heaven and take as many people with me that I can. That's it. It sounds simple, but I think it is profound and life-changing.
2 Corinthians 5:14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live.
The above verse should be the motivation behind our purpose. My purpose flows from my love and appreciation for what Christ did for me on the cross. He took my place. I should be on the cross, not Him. God put in me in the arena of the business world to accomplish His purpose for my life. My arena does not have to change to accomplish the purpose. Many people ask me, should I become a missionary, or should I go into full time professional ministry? Some are called to the mission field and to professional ministry, but God needs people living with His purpose in our schools, offices, factories, medical offices, sales jobs, neighborhoods and homes.
I pray this helps you focus on your purpose. Our all-encompassing purpose as Christ-followers is to bring glory to Him. If you have become so caught up in the proverbial rat race that you have lost sight of your purpose, if your distinction between what you do and who you are has become blurred, I hope you will take a step back and ponder your real purpose. Then figure out how to best implement your purpose in the arena where God has placed you. By the way, my cards say, David Massey, Real Estate Appraiser, but I see them as David Massey, Christ Follower. How about you?
Father- give us the desire, wisdom and motivation to carry out Your purpose for our lives. Forgive us for being so wrapped up in making a living that we forget Whom we were made to live for. In Christ's name, Amen.