I know you’ve been wondering if this purpose thing is another enterprise that breeds competition. You may have found it difficult to marry together the sayings that your purpose makes you stand out of the crowd and the reality out there where you see several others pursuing the same thing you call your purpose and perhaps, they’re even better than you are. So, why should you know your purpose?
I know you’ve asked questions like, “If truly this is my purpose, should I not be very good at it and should it not just flow out of me naturally?” I want to let you know that you’re not alone!!! Perhaps, this will help you find more clarity. Let’s look at PURPOSE from two standpoints I have figured out.
Now, before we go into that, always know that there are four things that always make the difference – time, place, audience and capacity level.
Purpose from the secular point of view
From the world’s standpoint, sense of purpose is a feeling you have when you find yourself useful, needed and making reasonable contribution to something bigger than you as you do what you love to do. Whether you’re employed, doing a volunteer work or doing your own business, anything that gives you a sense of relevance in this light is purpose.
From this premise, when we say, ‘fulfil purpose,’ we mean, find something you love doing, and make a reasonable contribution to the betterment of humanity. It could be as a volunteer, working in an establishment of your dream, being a freelancer or a business person. The fault in our orientation is that we say if it has not made you popular, rich, famous and all of those “BIG” things we see on TV and read on media, it is not PURPOSE. That’s where we get it wrong. And as a matter of fact, this is what pushes us into the blind competition we find ourselves in and which robs us of our joy.
Purpose from the biblical point of view
From the scriptural standpoint, purpose is the part you’re meant to play in the body of Christ and in God’s Kingdom/eternal agenda. It’s always tied to a place, a people and alongside with a time-frame (Ecc. 3:1). Now, this is analogous to doing a job you love in a company of your dream in the sense that God has a company and you play a role in that company. He also has a futuristic (eternal) vision and you feature in that picture.
Purpose fulfillment and perception of value
Now, let’s take it back. Relevance in God’s kingdom is absolutely determined by God as He is the one who approves His own people, but relevance in the world is determined by how valuable you are to people. Now, let’s analyze this: What is “Valuable?” – Effectiveness at meeting specific needs, speed at meeting those needs, level of those needs you can meet, etc. These are the points we feel being in competition.
What brings about the competition?
You see yourself in competition because you want to be faster, more effective and build more capacity to meet larger needs. It’s sort of a continuous variation where there really is no absolute. You are fulfilling purpose, but not at the same scale as the next person based on capacity gaps. No matter how similar or related you are with another person in purpose, either time, audience, place or capacity level will be a differentiating factor. So, what spots you out from others is not really the purpose, but these factors mentioned. In all, I want to let you know that God’s standpoint is that you’re relevant to humanity, while contributing to His eternal agenda. He is the one who prunes us to be more fruitful, thus increasing our capacity. So as a Christian, I ask myself, “Am I making the world better in any way possible? Am I getting better at doing that? And does what I do have any eternal value?”