“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3-4 (NIV)
This past spring I wrote a Bible Study titled Living On Purpose: The Proverbs 31 Woman. There was some question as to the title and it being grammatically correct or not. Something you should know about me is that my dad was an English teacher and his correction of my grammar was an easy and somewhat safe way for me to rebel. In other words, I didn’t retain what I was learning in regards to the proper use of the English language. You may notice quirks in my writings still…I am a work in progress!
When questions are posed to me about my work, my first reaction is to go into a self-protection mode and either not respond to questions or stop writing all together – neither of which are helpful or in line with God’s will. We are to be open to correction. (Proverbs 15:5) What I have come to learn is that in addressing questions such as these, it really makes me think about why I do what I do, choose what I choose and why I’m passionate about those things I’m passionate about. I give a reason. If I can’t give a reason, I may need to rethink what I’m doing.
One reason for the title is that Living On Purpose is about living your life with intention. While I am not an only child, I am far removed in age from my older siblings and to the best of my recollection, never had the “stop touching me” moments. I can, however, imagine how it goes. You’re bickering back and forth, your sibling snips, flicks or touches you when you’re not looking and you ask, “Did you do that on purpose?” Of course the answer acknowledged is “no” when in truth a “yes.” And that is the normal situation where the question is posed…Did you do that on purpose?
What if, instead of our intention being a mean-spirited action to push a button and keep someone down, our purposeful moments were inspiring and encouraging, lifting someone up? A wise woman (I know many) once said, “My husband has the position of authority; I have the position of influence.” Arlene Skaff. Literally, in that moment my intention changed. Jesus showed up that day and ministered to me in a way I had never experienced. What we choose to do, not do, support, or keep silent about has the ability to affect and influence our families, earthly and spiritually. It is up to us to be intentional with our influence for the benefit of our family.
The second reason for the title is that we live, move and breathe in God’s purpose for us. He chose us and purposed us for specific work. When we seek God’s purpose in what we are doing, we are energized and passionate whether it’s in our work, service, leisure or rest. It isn’t always easy but there is a desire and drive to see it through. His purpose sustains us.
“We look at this Son (Jesus) and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.” Colossians 1:15-16 (MSG)
We do sometimes need to step in and fill a gap when it’s not our passion. That’s just part of having a servant’s heart and we should be intentional about that as well. When each of us in the body of Christ works together and serves the purpose God created us for, the body as a whole meets the needs at the time. One person can’t do it all, and all people are not called to do the same things.
Something to Consider…
Do you find yourself living your life with the intention of benefitting or blessing others, especially those in your family or church? So often we take out our frustrations on those closest to us. In the situations you most often do this, what steps could you take to be intentional with a positive and encouraging attitude? God has created you for a purpose. Do you know that purpose? Sometimes, we just need to do something to gain a better understanding of what we are passionate about and what we are not. If God has a purpose for you, and He does, He will also give you the passion you need to accomplish that purpose. As you seek Him, you draw closer to Him and your understanding of what He desires for you and from you becomes clearer.