Have You Found Your Purpose In Life?

Doug Lee and I wrote a book, “God and the Bottom Line”.  We believe people can become whatever they desire to be.  Doug uses his experiences as a pro playing basketball for the NBA New Jersey Nets, the Sacramento Kings and a CEO.  My experience comes from being in management with Birds Eye Frozen Foods and Montgomery Ward.  Here is what our experience has taught us:

Everyone is motivated by the need to satisfy four basic spiritual needs: Everyone, conscious of it or not, longs to be loved by God and to love God in return; everyone needs to be unconditionally accepted by God, the way a parent accepts a child; everyone yearns to have an identity to be special in God’s eyes; and everyone needs a spiritual purpose in life, and serving God is the only purpose worthy of our best efforts.

Because these needs are instinctive, people are only aware of a void in their lives that longs to be fulfilled. Those who are influenced by their worldly natures try to satisfy spiritual needs with physical acts. Hence, a person who instinctively longs for God’s love attempts to satisfy the longing with physical love. The same person longs for acceptance, identity, and purpose and seeks to fulfill these needs the same way.

As a longtime manager and consultant, I’ve had the opportunity of working with many different people, each unique in personality, talents, temperaments, and career circumstances. It is safe to say that no two people are exactly alike. However, in time, one begins to see the overall sameness that lies beneath the surface, at the heart, or core, of individual needs. When people’s individual needs are reduced to the lowest common denominator, business and career circumstances have a way of becoming incidental, even superfluous.

Some of those I have worked with could be described as “frenzied” in their efforts to satisfy their spiritual needs. Some sought to fill the need to be loved by engaging in multiple love affairs. Several tried to satisfy the need for acceptance and personal identity by joining every group imaginable, including sign-toting, do-good organizations; political action groups; hobby or special interest groups; and/or immersing themselves in their careers or any number of “causes.”

Then again, not everyone searches for spiritual answers like this. I’ve worked with others who seemed to simply give up and withdraw. Their unfulfilled needs to be loved and accepted left them detached and embittered. They had no clear identity or purpose in life save getting by from day to day. In effect, they sulked like unhappy children.

The spiritual needs that motivate some to engage in a misdirected and undiscerning search and others to withdraw can never be satisfied by physical acts, no matter how well-intentioned they might be. Instinctive spiritual needs can be satisfied only by spiritual means, and the recovery process can take some time. Nevertheless, recovery and fulfillment begins with the single, life-changing decision to serve Christ and yield daily to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We emphasized the importance of praying that God would give to each of us a purpose in life.  So many Christians apparently are unaware that God has a plan for them.  They seem to lack a passion for what it is they are doing.  Or, they have a passion but have not developed enough trust in God to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction.  Negative fear is the Devil’s greatest weapon.  How often have you wanted to do something but were afraid to try?

A person may have motivation but it takes discipline to achieve goals.  Was there ever a time that you decided what in life who you want to be or what you wanted to do?  Have you accomplished it?  Doug decided that he wanted to excel in basketball.  He realized that two things would help him reach his goal.  It would take self-discipline and preparation.  He was determined to prepare by shooting as many as 500 baskets a day.  If that required shoveling snow off the pavement he would do so.  If you want to be an accomplished pianist you must be motivated to practice continually.  My objective was to develop leadership skills and become a part of management.  Besides my college major, I read probably fifty books on management and leadership and attended that many seminars. This was in addition to reading the Bible daily and constantly studying for my Bible class that I taught. How willing have you been in preparing for your advancement? What may you expect if the only thing you do is show up for work or school?

You may set other goals such as becoming debt free.  Indebtedness probably resulted from a lack of self-discipline.  You may be motivated but have you set a plan or budget and had the discipline and determination to work your plan?  Then what are your chances of meeting that goal?

The problem with establishing goals is when we begin, the initial wave of enthusiasm passes, and it will, there is an inclination to settle into a kind of treadmill mentality.  Once preparation begins, the excitement soon passes, life returns to dealing with the day to day pressures that surround us.  So before any more steps are taken we need to learn how to maintain momentum and stay charged.

A person who is truly committed must believe that God is in complete control.  No matter what situation you may find yourself accept that the Holy Spirit is with you.  One thing that Scripture and the Holy Spirit taught us was how God expected us to live as a Christian.  There are certain things we must do and many we must not to do.

We have found that living a holy life requires a lot of self-discipline.  However, living as God instructs makes life much more bearable, easier to achieve goals and is more satisfying.  Never forget the need for setting goals, making a plan to meet that goal, then preparing, having the self-discipline and determination to never quit until it is reached.

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