“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
What makes a purposeful life? This is a question people have been wrestling with since the beginning of time. Everyone wants to feel purposeful, in-fact purpose is integral to our very being; we need it. A lack of purpose creates a lack of hope and a discouraged sense of meaning. Without it we often fall prey to the false perceptions that our lives do not matter, or that we have no significance or impact on the world around us.
I’ve witnessed one of my close friends go through this struggle. My friend is currently unemployed and this has caused them some strong anxiety in regards to their life’s meaning. They frequently talk to me about how they do not know what their purpose is anymore and they don’t know what they are going to do with their life. They feel discouraged and directionless. This mindset is a tough one and one I think many of us struggle with at times. This mindset that what we do in our life defines who we are. Looking at scripture, it’s apparent this is not God’s view on it though. In-fact 1 Samuel 16:7 teaches us the opposite, that mankind looks at the outside (what we do: e.g. our career/achievements) but God looks at the heart (how and why we do it). God looks at our motivation and our heart behind the things we do, not the success of those things.
From my own experience, I personally believe that the best way to live a life that feels purposeful, is to do what we were created for: to live like Christ (Philippians 2:5). Living out the example Christ set for us when He was on earth. Loving others, being selfless, caring for those in need, sharing the good news, etc. Whatever median we choose to do that through; whether that is being a professional football player or a cashier at the local grocery store, that’s not where the purpose lies. We can be Christ-like no matter where we are or what we are doing. In the everyday things like cleaning our bathroom or picking our child up from hockey practice, AND in the exciting things, like getting a job promotion. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” Whatever you do. Meaning we are created to bring glory to God in everything, and how we do that is living in a way that reflects Him. In our spirit, in our attitude, and in our actions.
We must combat the lies that we make our lives purposeful, they ARE purposeful because He made us. It says in Genesis 2:7 that God breathed His own breathe into our lungs, and in Psalms 139:13 it says “He knits us together in our mother’s womb”. Without God’s intense intentionality we would not exist today. You have inherent purpose. Live out that purpose by making the most of the life you have and living it in a way that reflects the One who made you. Be present right where you are and look for ways to honour God in your current circumstance. Whether you are unemployed or a CEO of a major company, how can you still reflect Christ in that? “For in Him all things were created… all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16. A purposeful life is one that reflects Christ, in all things.