He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche
A number of years ago, my dad met a young man in a coffee shop. He asked him, “Tell me your story.” Who are you? Why are you here?
The young man answered, “My parents said I was an accident. I’m living recklessly; I’ll probably die one day soon. I am an accident suspended between two accidents.”
Not much of a life purpose, is it?
It’s no secret: Simply being alive presents the living with a series of questions. Most of us will wrestle with these questions for our entire lives until we find an answer that satisfies … or we meet death – whichever comes first.
With that happy thought in mind … I believe life’s toughest questions are answered in Scripture. I also believe that once we find a firm biblical answer, we can truly rest in that truth.
So, where do we start? When I study Scripture, I see three life questions answered:
- “Who am I?” We’re going to call this our primary purpose.
- “What does God want me to do?” This is our secondary purpose.
- “How can I, as an individual, accomplish this?” This is our personal purpose.
And it only makes sense that we should answer the “who” before we answer the “what.” That’s why we’re calling it our primary purpose. Otherwise, we’ll end up like that young man in the coffee shop – carrying around a horrific case of mistaken identity. Mistaken identity leads to mistaken purpose.
Who are you? I love how John answers:
What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)
If you are in Christ, you are God’s kid. This is the truth from which everything else flows. How would that young man’s life change if he believed God created him on purpose and for a purpose? I have to wonder, don’t you?
Creator of All, by Your grace, I am given a purposeful identity as Your child. As I live every day in many different roles, let me never mistake them for my identity. I am Your kid. First and last. And I’m grateful. Amen.
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