Everyone’s life is driven by something. Some are driven by guilt. Many people are driven by resentment and anger. I know people who are driven by fear. Others are driven by the desire to acquire. And, quite a few are driven by the need for approval. What drives your life?
Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, has some of the best material written anywhere on the topic of purpose. In chapter 7, he shares the five great benefits of living a purpose driven life.
Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life. All of us were made to have meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. Hope is essential to your life as air and water. Warren says, “You need hope to cope.” Hope comes from having purpose. Purpose and hope are found in God himself. This scripture is a favorite of mine when God says, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Knowing your purpose simplifies your life. I’ve learned that my purpose becomes the standard by which I evaluate my life. I have a filter question that I ask often, “Does this activity help me fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life?” It’s impossible for me to do everything people want me to do. But I do have enough time to do what God wants me to do.
Knowing your purpose focuses your life. You become effective by being selective. Without a clear purpose, we will have a tendency to keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches or other externals. One of the benefits of getting older is that you’ve had lots of experience doing things you don’t want to or don’t like to do. Make sure you are focused at this stage of life. There is nothing quite as potent as a focused life.
Knowing your purpose motivates your life. Purpose produces passion. If you have no purpose, just getting out of bed becomes a major chore. Meaningless work, not overwork, saps our strength and robs our joy. Clear purpose energizes.
Knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity. Some spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth. Yet, achievements are eventually surpassed, records are broken, trophies get rusty, reputations fade and tributes are forgotten. Building an eternal legacy is much more important.
One day I will stand before God and he will do an audit of my life, a final exam, before I enter eternity. As I understand the Bible, it will be a two-question test: 1) What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ? 2) What did you do with what I gave you?
My two answers to the final exam will be: 1) I accepted what Jesus did for me and loved him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. 2) I invested my time, talent and treasure for the purpose God made me for.
Take an inventory today: What’s driving you? What would your family and friends say is the driving force of your life? What do I want it to be? And finally, what will your final exam answers be to God’s two questions?
QUESTION: What have you learned about purposeful living? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.