What is your purpose?

Jacobus Erasmus, 18 July 2018

A common question is: What is the purpose of my life? I think that this question is misguided; it is the wrong question to ask. This question gives you the impression that there is only one purpose to your life. However, your life is rich, multifaceted, and has many dimensions. The correct question to ask, then, is: What are the different purposes of my life?

To answer this question, we have to look at the different aspects of life. First, we have the humanity aspect. You were created as a human, and a human has different essential purposes than that of other things, such as insects. For example, part of a humans' purpose is to (just to name a few):

Next, we have the gender aspect. Although men and women share many purposes, they have several different roles in society. Men are to love, lead, and protect their families. Women are to nurture their families and respect and support their husbands. Men are to go to war and lay down their lives for their families and their country. Women are to unselfishly care for their families and the needy in their country. Men are to be gentlemen; women are to be ladies.

The next aspect concerns your work or job. For many of us, we spend the majority of our time at work. Before mankind fell into sin, God gave man the purpose to work. Unfortunately, because of the fall into sin, work became difficult. Thus, it is your purpose (especially as a man) to push through the painful and difficult parts of your job, and to work to the best of your ability.

Next, we have the spiritual aspect. It is your purpose to know God personally, to serve him and obey him. This would include, for example, getting closer to God through prayer, studying the Bible, attending church, etc.

We also have seasonal purposes. These are things that God has called us to do for just a season. This would be, for example, to start a prayer group in your school. Once you leave school, this would obviously no longer be your purpose. We discover these purposes by seeking God's direction.

Finally, there are lifelong purposes. These are things that God has called us to do for most of our lives. Being a pastor, or programmer, or politician, for example, can all be lifelong purposes. Of course, these may also merely be seasonal purposes. Once again, we discover our lifelong purposes by seeking God's will for our lives through prayer.

So when you ask yourself, "What is my purpose in life?", you should really be asking yourself several related questions, including: