What should I do next? Who should I be around? Is it too late to change career? Why shouldn’t I feel worthless right now? These are questions that plague a lot of young people, but you would be surprised to find that knowing one piece of information could answer them all forever.
What is Purpose?
We believe that Christians have been called to specific tasks. We all share the mission of spreading the good news about Jesus Christ. Everybody deserves to be offered the choice of eternal life with Him. However, God also placed us all here for individual reasons. God saw a future need in the world, and He sent you to fill it. As a tall kid, growing up I was probably asked if I play basketball at least once a month because, for a sport where the goal is 10 feet in the air, height makes you uniquely equipped to carry out this task. The same goes for us, God has specifically designed us to complete an objective on Earth before we go to join Him. This task that you were created for is what we refer to as your purpose.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
– Ephesians 2:10
Why Is Purpose Important?
1. Focus and Direction:
Simply put, if you know your purpose then you can see where you’re supposed to be headed and can make decisions accordingly. Decisions like choosing where to live or work can be more informed and strategised. Your purpose can also serve as internal motivation. What else makes you get out of bed in the morning beyond your singular God-given purpose for existence?
2. Peace of Mind:
The flip side of this focus is the peace of mind that comes from knowing where you are headed and what is not for you. That job opportunity might look like what you want but it will make it more difficult for you to fulfill your purpose. Saying no is hard but it is easier if you know the reason why you said no and what was at stake. Often times the things that you’re looking for in that pay rise and increased status, are waiting for you at the end of a fulfilled purpose. Furthermore, knowing where you are going makes it easier to weather storms. It might be raining where you are right now but if you can see the sunshine where you are headed, then rain becomes more bearable.
“Set your mind on things above not earthly things” – Colossians 3:2
3. Value and Self-confidence:
God looked at the world, saw it was lacking something, and sent you. He has been molding you your entire life. Your importance cannot be diminished. Someone somewhere needs or is going to need you. It could be huge, and you could have been sent to change nations or it could be small and specific like being a godly example and influence next door to the person that will go on to change nations. Either way, both parts are necessary for nations to change. Whatever you have been called by God to do, it is necessary and important. Furthermore, if you know you have been sent to a place by the Entity that oversees everything, how can someone tell you don’t belong there? The notion will be laughable.
“in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6
Who you’re around is key. In Proverbs we’re told about the safety you find in an abundance of good counsel. However, in order to put the right people around you, you need to know where you’re going. When you know, you can choose people according to whether they will be able to help you get there or be a hindrance. This is useful for new Christians debating what to do about old friendships with people who don’t know Christ or friendships that are constantly leading them away from living a life that is honourable to God. It’s not worth it if it holds you back from your purpose.
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”- 1 Corinthians 15:33
It also follows that finding a partner based on purpose is an excellent foundation because when times get tough, knowing you need that person to be who you’re supposed to be, means at some point you have to get back on good terms, you cannot leave them, because you need them, so you strive to make it work. In the same way, finding a partner before you know your purpose is asking for trouble because how can you team up for a life long race and one of you doesn’t know where they’re going yet? What if they find out in 5 years and it requires a completely different direction than their partner’s purpose?
“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” – Amos 3:3
5. Peace in Death and Loss:
As Christians, we must always consider ourselves as pieces in God’s plan. We won’t always understand the full plan. But what we do know, is like Jesus, our goal is to glorify God and His will whilst we are here on Earth, fulfilling our God-given roles and then going to be with the Father. As Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples were sad for themselves, but nobody was sad for Jesus, He had completed His mission, He went to the Father’s house to prepare our rooms. Now we don’t ascend into the heavens in such majestic form, but our earthly bodies return to dust, and our spirits go to the Father’s house. Jesus was 33 when this happened, in our time this would be considered a young death, unfortunate, a tragedy even. But it is not a tragedy, the only tragedy is a life lived with no fulfillment of purpose. There is no time limit on purpose, it could take 20 years or 80 but when fulfilled its home time, and when we see this, we should not mourn. I promise you, nobody in Heaven wishes they could come back.
“And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:26
As you can see knowing your purpose as a Christian, is like unlocking all the boosts on a video game. Things that were hard become easier, things that were bad become good. Stay tuned for part 2 next week where we discuss ways to help identify your own purpose.