Live Life on Purpose

Most people want their lives to mean something at the end of life. We want to have that feeling that it was worth it all, even in the most difficult of times. We want to pass something down to friends and family where someone will say, “that person really made an impact on my life” or “this advice or wisdom spoken is something I’ll never forget. It helps to guide my life.”

For some, life may seem completely random and without purpose. You go down a path and once you get to your destination, it is not what it seemed. It winds up being a dead end. You try to check all the boxes: work hard, help people, go to church when you can, your relationships around you seem pretty good, but there is still something missing. There’s that gnawing, empty feeling inside. You don’t know if you’ve done enough.

Some have been wounded by others. It could be a family member or other relationships. You can’t seem to get it out of your mind—it defines you. You seek to find ways to overcome. You look to other relationships, thinking that just one more relationship is going to bring me that happiness I’ve been looking for, only to be let down again. There may be a bitter root to your life, and you’re angry or depressed and feel hopeless. You take it out on others but it isn’t really their fault. Maybe you lose your job, you’re in trouble with the law, you’re addicted to substances, your life has cycled out of control—you’re at the bottom and don’t know which way is up.

So how do we live life on purpose when we don’t know what the purpose is? Okay, some will say our purpose is “to be happy.” It sounds good, but the problem is that happiness is subjective and fleeting. We fill up our lives to find happiness, but then it never seems to last. We just wind up wearing ourselves out. For others there is a simpler goal that they may not even recognize: just try to avoid pain as much as possible. You try to numb yourself so you don’t have to face the wounds of life, you isolate, or try to distract yourself by spending time gaming or posting selfies to your social media. You want people to click “like” for a little validation to convince yourself, “I’m worth something.”

So how do we live life on purpose? God has made the way for us. He is the One who made you and created you for a purpose. Jesus was asked by a religious leader of His day, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment in the law’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” (Matt.22-36-40)

This purpose is tied to Jesus. Our sin and brokenness has only caused the emptiness and purposelessness we experience. You see, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV) It is through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and rising to life that He gives us life. And He gives us purpose. When we place our faith and trust in Him for all that He has done, He gives true life that transforms us from within. All of this is by His grace. Our joy is made complete because of our identity with Him. This doesn’t mean all of our problems go away, but we do know that He is with us always. He takes these “broken clay pots” and uses us and restores us to His unique people for His glory. Out of this fulness, we are compelled to love others as He has loved us and gave Himself for us.
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Mark Anderson