Good afternoon By My Side folks. I hope this February post finds you well. I just celebrated my 60th birthday a couple of weeks ago and had a whirlwind of attention from my special family and friends. Thank you all for making me feel so loved. They say, that as a woman gets older she either talks more and says less, or talks less and says more. I’m sure I fall somewhere in between these two statements.
So today, I want to take last month’s post highlighting life’s 5 purposes for each of us and finish off by having us ponder our own “life purpose statements”. If you haven’t read my January post, perhaps check it out first before reading this one. So what is a “life purpose statement”? Again, I am just presenting this as “MJ’s food for thought” based upon the a viewpoint from author and pastor Rick Warren. Stay with me on this readers, it’s a little heavy but will make sense by the end of this post.
1) Warren says it’s a statement that summarizes God’s purpose for our lives. In your own words, you affirm your commitment to God’s 5 purposes for your life. A purpose statement is not a list of goals. Goals are temporary, purposes are eternal.
2) It’s a statement that points the direction and path of our lives. It not only points out what we intend to do with our time, money and life, but also implies what we aren’t going to do. Proverbs says “An intelligent person aims at wise action but a fool starts off in many directions. ( Proverbs 17:24 (TEV)
3) A statement defines success for us. It states that what we believe is important, not what the world says is important. It clarifies our values.
4) Its a statement that also clarifies our roles. We will have different roles at different stages in life but our purposes will never change. They are greater than the roles we have.
5) Finally, it’s a statement that expresses our shape. It reflects the unique ways God made us to serve Him.
Here are a couple of examples from author Rick Warren of life’s purpose statements.
“My life purpose is to love Christ, grow in Christ, share Christ and serve Christ through His church and to lead my family and others to do the same”.
“My life purpose is to worship Christ with my heart, serve Him with my shape, fellowship with His family, grow like Him in character and fulfill His mission in the world so he receives glory”.
You may wonder, “what is God’s will for my job, or marriage, or where I’m supposed to live or go to school”? Honestly, these are secondary issues in our lives and there may be a multiple of these possibilities that would all be in God’s plan for you. What matters most is that we fulfill God’s eternal purposes, regardless of where we live or work or who we marry.
Those decisions should support our own life purpose statement. The bible says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is Lord’s purpose that prevails”. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
We sometimes hear that we should develop our life purpose statement based upon what we would like others to say about us at our funeral. Imagine the perfect eulogy, then build a statement on that. Warren says that’s a bad plan. At the end of life, it isn’t going to matter what others say about us. The only thing that will matter is what God says about us. “Our purpose is to please God, not people”. 1Thessalonians 2:4b (NLT)
Warren goes on to say that one day God will review our answers to these life questions. Did I put Jesus at the centre of my life? Did I strive to continually try to develop His character? Did I devote my life to serving others? ( In our family, work, community etc). Did I communicate His message and fulfill His mission? Did I participate in His family? These are the only issues that will count says Warren. As Paul says, “Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan for us”. 2Corinthians 10:13 (LB)
A long time ago, author Rick Warren came upon a small phrase in Acts 13:36 that forever altered the direction of his life. “David served God’s purpose in his generation”.
Imagine this chiseled on our tombstone: that we served God’s purpose in our generation. His prayer is that people will be able to say this about him when he dies. Warren states that this phrase is the ultimate definition of a life well lived. We do the eternal and timeless (God’s purpose) in a contemporary and timely way, in our generation.
He says, that is what the purpose driven life is all about. Neither past, not future generations can serve God’s purpose in this generation. Only we can.
He uniquely created each and every one of us, to live our our lives, with His plan in mind for each of us individually, in this place at this time, in our generation. God created us “for such a time as this” Esther 4:14.
Wow, heavy “food for thought”. I will leave this special Christian viewpoint with you at this time, to ponder and pray about. Until next time, stay warm. God bless you all.