Summary: In nearly every area of life, we perform better when we know our purpose. God wants you to know your purpose in life as a believer in Christ. God Almighty wants you to know your “why.”
What’s my purpose in life? Something inside of us craves knowing our purpose in life. All of us ask this question - Why am I here? Studies show knowing one’s purpose is a powerful source of motivation in life. Get this: researchers have shown that when you stress “why we are doing this” to people, it activates their brain’s reward system. When people know the “why,” researchers have shown that people increase their effort.
2,500 people were asked to analyze medical images for anything that jumped out at them. They were divided into two groups. One group was told that the results would be discarded after they finished analyzing the images. While a 2nd group was told they were searching through the images for “cancerous tumor cells.” Both groups were paid per image examined. Yet, the second group spent more time analyzing each image and earned 10% less on average. Their quality of work was tied to their purpose and they even were willing to earn less money doing so. I loved how they put their findings: “Why we work determines how well we work.”
The Value of Knowing Our Purpose
In nearly every area of life, we perform better when we know our purpose. God wants you to know your purpose in life as a believer in Christ. God Almighty wants you to know your “why.” God tells us our purposes as believers: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).
Stolen Valor Act
You may remember the story of Rick Duncan from a week ago. Rick Duncan claimed to be decorated with a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. He claimed to be in the Pentagon on 9/11. He claimed to be both a captain in the US Marine Corp and wounded in battle while doing 3 tours in Iraq. He claimed to go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. But Duncan never won a medal; indeed, he never served in the military. And his name isn't even Rick Duncan. Arrested in El Paso, TX, he was investigated by the FBI. He was arrested for violating the Stolen Valor Act. This law makes it illegal for you to falsely claim you are a decorated veteran.
Every veteran deserves better. The value of the Purple Heart should have prevented him from desecrating it. The position is worthy of higher character. Again, the Stolen Valor Act. And if there are those who stolen valor from our military’s heroes, surely you have stolen valor from our Lord.
Hear the words of the Apostle Paul who is pleading with you to walk worthy of your Christian calling: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” (Ephesians 4:1).
We should not try to deserve our place in God’s favor. Instead, we should recognize how much our place in God’s favor deserves from us. But how do I do this? How can you please God? How to live my “why”? You can please God with humility and love.
1. Clothe Yourself with Humility
The first step to finding life’s purpose is humility: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness…” (Ephesians 4:1-2a).
The Bible calls on you to walk in humility. If you’re going to live your “why,” then you are going to need humility. Now, the word humble and human both come from the same Latin word meaning earth (humus). To be human and to be humble is to be down-to-earth, with your feet planted firmly on the ground. The Bible says we were not created from gold dust or diamond dust but common everyday dust. We are made from humble origins.
1.1 Humility Promotes Unity
Oh, that I could get every one of you to adopt humility. Humility not only lives out your “why” but it increases love in your family, your church, and your place of business. If you want unity in your family, embrace humility. If you want unity at your place of employment, embrace humility. And if you want unity in your church, embrace humility.
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…” (1 Peter 5:5-6a).
Few things are more destructive to community life than pride and arrogance. Oh, that I could get every one of you to adopt humility.
1.2 The Happiness of Humility
Again, humility is the pathway your purpose in life. Humility is also the pathway to your happiness in life. You may think happiness is fame and fortune. You think happiness is Kim Kardashian who can lay in her mansion and be paid far more than a teacher for tweeting out product promotions. But happiness isn’t found in seven figures. Instead, happiness is found in humility.