Purpose has always been a topic of discussion but recently I’ve seen it discussed more than usual. That makes me happy but it also makes me leery because I’ve seen the concept of purpose used out of context and even exploited. That’s what prompted me to release this purpose defined episode.
In this episode, I will define purpose by breaking down where purpose comes from, what purpose is, what it isn’t, and why it’s important to know how purpose operates.
The Source of Purpose
Purpose comes from God.
“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)
This scripture shows us:
- In Christ we discover who we are and why we are alive—this is our individual purpose, and
- God has some overall purposes that we all share
Some of the purposes that we were all created for are to be in relationship with God, to be in community with each other, and to serve God.
As for your individual purpose, this is something that only God can reveal to you. This means that your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, your friends, your spouse, nor any online gurus can tell you what your purpose is. They cannot define your specific purpose.
Purpose is the original reason for the creation of something. It is the reason why something exists. Purpose is what gives us meaning, fulfillment, and special significance because it is our thing. It is something that is uniquely ours.
People look for fulfillment in all sorts of things. Some look to money, fame, power, drugs, approval from others, sex, relationships, and even positive things like volunteering to help others.
While achieving these things may seem satisfying in the beginning, they will eventually lead to disappointment.
What Purpose Isn’t
Now that you know what purpose is, I want to highlight for you what purpose is not. This will further clarify purpose for you.
Purpose is not your talent
Talent is an ability or natural skill you’ve learned to do well and may have even mastered after some training, practice, or repetition. Your talent is a tool to help you do the work of your purpose. It is not your actual purpose.
Purpose is not your preference
Your preference is something you choose. We know that is not the same thing as your preference because God chose your purpose before you were born. You don’t choose it, He does.
I do want to add that your purpose can and will be something that you may prefer or grow to prefer. God was very strategic when He created you so there will be things about you that naturally pull you to preferring your purpose. On the flip side of that coin, there may be things that your purpose requires you to do that you may not prefer or be comfortable with.
This important to know because you may be tempted to stop pursuing something you don’t like doing, and that thing may indeed be connected to your purpose or be your purpose.
Purpose is not fickle
While execution of your purpose may change and evolve, your purpose itself does not change. Your purpose was set before you were born. I do believe that God can and will use you outside of your purpose and will give you assignments to do things that have nothing to do with your purpose.
You don’t have different purposes for different seasons. You may have different assignments in different periods of your life, which is what I think some people mean when they say they are trying to figure out their purpose for a particular season.
But ultimately though, your life’s purpose remains the same.
Purpose is not your passion
Purpose and passion are two very different things.
Passion is a strong liking or desire for something. It’s all about you, what you like, and what you want.
Purpose on the other hand is about meaning. It’s your contribution to the Kingdom of God and ultimately is more about those you are called to serve than it is about you.
God was very strategic when he made you. He is not wasteful, so I do believe that purpose will be something you are predisposed to enjoy, even if you don’t initially like it. Eventually, it will be something that you are passionate about.
If you want more information about the value in purpose and how it’s beneficial, then checkout an earlier episode of the show titled The Value in Purpose.
In this episode, you learned where purpose comes from, what purpose is, what it isn’t, and why it’s important to know how purpose operates.
I hope I was able to give you a better understanding of purpose in general.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your purpose, then I recommend that you take a FREE, 2-minute quiz I created that will help you find your unique path to your purpose.
The quiz is the next best step because it will guide you to the things you can start working on now that will set you up for success before you do the work of positioning yourself for purpose.
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If you have any questions you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join my Purpose Diary newsletter below and my tips, experiences, and advice about navigating a life of purpose are all yours, every week!
Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything I recommend in this or any of my communications, it’s likely I’ll receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, I only recommend things that I truly believe in and have personally experienced. If you ever have an issue with anything I recommend, please let me know. My goal is to help you thrive in your purpose. — Pavielle