HOW DO I KNOW MY PURPOSE IN LIFE?

Scripture tells us, God’s purpose for us is never an afterthought; it was planned prior to our birth. This has always intrigued me. What was God’s purpose for my life? If I knew that, I am sure doing that which I was created to do, would make my life different and more meaningful. I continually searched for the answer. (Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”)

The Bible is very clear that God has a purpose for us and he created us with the abilities to fulfill whatever that purpose might be. Satan has an agenda to keep us from performing what God had intended for us. Satan plants the seeds of insecurity, low self-esteem, unworthiness and even fear to stop us from completing what God intended. He may use parents, siblings, teachers or employers to put us down. It seems he finds ways to discourage and defeat us, but only if we allow it. Most people live lives with God-given gifts that they have never developed or used. What would the world be like if we all sought God’s intended purpose and we used our talents to go with it?

Over the years I have offered employees promotions to management positions. Almost without exception they asked: “Do you really think I can do that?” My answer was always: “If I didn’t think you could do it I would not be offering you the opportunity.” It reminds me when God asked Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses started making all kinds of excuses. It’s as if Moses had no faith or trust in God and he was allowing his perceived inadequacies to limit his potential. Are we any different than Moses? However, God assured Him that He would tell him what to say and promised to guide him in his confrontation with Pharaoh. We read in Romans 9:17 – “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’” There are a number of Scriptures that tell us God has a purpose for both believers and non-believers. God did not want Pharaoh to give in too easily. I have wondered: Is the Holy Spirit given to us to help us fulfill our life’s purpose?

Have you ever wondered if you could overcome the fears you deal with, what are you really capable of doing? The American dream is still available to those who realize that it won’t be given to them; we have to prepare and then earn it. I have read many books on the power of positive thinking. I have studied management principles and went to numerous work-related seminars to improve my skills. The one book that has helped me the most is studying the Bible. Scripture convinced me that I could do all things through Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Bible helped me to deal with my unworthiness, inadequacies, fears, etc. After studying and reading the Bible for years I was convinced God had a purpose for me. In addition, I could expect the help from the Holy Spirit Just as God had helped Moses. I realized my purpose was much different and significantly smaller but, God cared about me as he does you.

I began to understand that if I knew my purpose my life would be more fulfilled. The more I studied the Bible the more I began to realize that my purpose was to develop a Christ-like personality. I had to be a risk taker, be flexible, capable of loving others, be teachable, and become transformational, we must not be stubborn. I had to get rid of negative thinking, being unforgiving, hateful and self-centered.

I began studying God-given temperaments conceived by Hippocrates over twenty-four hundred years ago, divides people into four basic categories which he named Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. Each temperament has both strengths and weaknesses that form a distinct part of his nature throughout life. Each individual is born with a primary and a secondary temperament. It is quite possible for two people classified in the same temperament group to be as dissimilar as a banana and an onion. One may possess a majority of the temperament’s strengths, while the other person exhibits a majority of its weaknesses. Two children born with the same primary and secondary temperaments raised in different family environment can be completely different even having the same tendencies.

A Sanguine temperament is outgoing and sociable but can be loud and rude. A Choleric personality is decisive and a risk taker but can be also tactless and argumentative. The Melancholy person is analytical and organized while also critical and skeptical. A Phlegmatic are patient and people oriented, but they are typically timid and indecisive. A Melancholy probably would not be a successful salesperson and a Sanguine probably shouldn’t become a CPA. If there secondary temperament was one of these and the primaries were changed, they could then be a salesperson or a CPA.

My temperaments indicated that I could be a leader and people oriented. My original career goal, prior to college, was to become a CPA. It did not take me long into accounting to know I did not have the temperament for that and switched to business management. We must understand our basic temperaments cannot be changed and are God given. We often find people who dislike their jobs are because their temperaments do not fit what they are doing.

One thing I learned was the importance of preparation that the Apostle Paul continually stressed. It was the key to success. I learned the seriousness of trusting in God’s promises. I became aware that the Holy Spirit was given to us that we might have confidence and comfort in what we were doing, a guiding hand to do it well and to know when we were fulfilling God’s purpose in our life. God had opened doors through which we could chose to enter. Yes, there were times that doors slammed shut and probably kept me from going in the wrong direction.

I also learned that there were many things I could do that would fulfill that purpose. If I found a mate that had temperaments that supported my temperaments’ strengths and not my weaknesses it should be a happy marriage. Marry a person that brings out your weaknesses and things probably will not work well together. I made the right choice.

My experience working with thousands of people is those who discover their purpose and their temperaments seem to live a more fulfilled life and Christians appear to become more spiritually mature by feeling they are using the talents that God created them to use.

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