Purpose, Marriage, and the Prosperous Soul
Purpose is a popular subject these days. Daniel Pink explains why in his book A Whole New Mind, which I heartily recommend. He talks about how we’re living in the conceptual age, also called the age of meaning. Everything we do has to mean something.
Rick Warren and many others have addressed the idea of purpose, and I am writing a book on the topic as well. But here’s the thing we need to understand: without context, all this information about purpose can lead a person to some unfortunate destinations.
The idea of purpose is very important, but it needs to be nested in the context of what God says is true. Biblically speaking, how should we live? Why should we be generous? What is the purpose of wealth? All these big ideas provide context based on the true subject of God. He is greater than we are, and His reality tells us why we’re on the planet.
If we take any of those big ideas and isolate them, we are likely to shipwreck. Unfortunately, we see this happening in the conceptual age around the subject of purpose. Millennials, the younger generation, are looking for a purpose and a reason to live. They assign purpose to everything. If it doesn’t have purpose, they don’t want to go to work or even get out of bed.
I love this desire for purpose and meaning—but it must be in context. Out of context, the idea of purpose begins to erode some of the most important elements in our various cultures.
The United States, France, South America—no matter where we live in the world, culture is like a fabric woven around traditions and ideas of perseverance, love, sacrifice, etc. These ideas begin to fall apart when purpose is taken out of context. Without context, individual purpose becomes the highest motivator in our lives, and we grow selfish and ambitious for our own gain. We begin to abandon what our cultures hold true as civilized, educated, intellectual, and advanced first- and second-world people.
The Idea of Something Greater
One tradition currently being “unraveled” in Western culture is marriage. It is a foundational truth that wealth is created best and fastest—and maintained the longest—in families who stay together and take advantage of the synergy of longevity. They work through difficulties and choose to sacrifice for one another. They lay down their lives for one another and persevere, and they’re willing to give something up for the sake of something greater.
The idea of “something greater” is vital. If we focus on the concept of purpose without considering biblical truth, we’re left with a single idea: “I need to find out how to make myself happy.” Thus we begin to sacrifice traditions and relationships.
Your Purpose in Life
Your purpose in life is a God-assigned thing just like your fingerprint. It is unique to you, and God put it there.
As you seek to step into your purpose more and more, don’t lose track of God Almighty and His identity-giving nature as your Father in heaven. Find out who you are in Him and make that your purpose. I’ve tried it both ways—doing it on my own and doing it His way—and who I am in Him is the best way to live.
God bless your Prosperous Soul.