What’s Your Purpose?

    “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.

12 thoughts on “What’s Your Purpose?

  1. This message reminded me: I recently followed my husband with honesty, integrity, and love in a family situation and I knew there would be pain and rejection for who we are. But honesty, integrity and love is what God demands and God’s plan is the right plan. All we need to do is walk in God’s plan and no words need to be spoken, because it shows and glows of God and we may have rejection, but God’s plan has purpose and love, even in the hurdles.

    • Judy, Psalm 119 comes to mind when I think of standing firm in God’s ways. “My comfort in my suffereing is this: Your promise preserves my life…Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:50, 105-106 Gods ways are always right in both the good times and the difficult. Prayers for you to keep your eyes and hearts fixed on Him trusting His right plan. God bless you, both!

  2. I too remember Arlene making that statement about being in the position of influence in our relationships! Total life changer…a sea change for me. It was like getting new glasses and seeing something in a whole new wonderful way…a shift of perception.

    Speaking of a perception shift…this past summer, I took the Living On Purpose: The Proverbs 31 Woman study that Mari wrote and is referencing in her post…it was a wonderful experience in my faith walk. I learned so many things about my part in my relationship with God, family, friends and in my community. One of the things she said here above speaks to what was really a huge take-away that I had from the study…

    “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.”

    For me, the study reinforced one of the most incredible steps in Christian maturity for women….realizing and then boldly and intentionally moving into the unique purpose God intended for us in our circles of influence. In situations where God wills, letting others take the leadership role doesn’t mean we are second best. It means we are blessing. Another wise woman in my life (Donna), has helped me see that living a life of influential purpose is like being a rudder in my relationships…under the surface, unassuming with a quiet gentle spirit but very powerful and important…prayerful, patient and alert to changes in the atmosphere and flow of every situation.

    Thank you God for your gift of faith to us. Thank you for how you used Mari this summer..and how you will keep using her even more in the time to come…helping others Live Your Faith!

    Jude 20-21 ~ “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”

    Loves and Hugs,

    • In servant leadership, we lift others up and step back. We create leaders by letting others lead. If we continue to hold the reigns, we end up with a lot of people who are just along for the ride. Thankful for all the leaders who helped with this summer’s study! I could not have done it on my own! Thanks for your thoughts, Mary!

  3. Sister you ROCK! Thanks for living your faith and sharing your faith..your words blessed me today, keep inspiring us all to live our faith.-Cheryl

  4. Mari- thanks for following your purpose! You have been such a cheerleader for so many women to feel free and seek their purpose in life! Keep going!! Melissa

  5. Love love love this! I remember Arlene saying that too! I remembdr exactly where I was. I was at the womens retreat wallkin across the parking lot. I quick grabbed my notebook so i could write it down. I too havr forever remembered her saying that! -michelle

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