bits from bob....

You Did That On Purpose!

by Robert J. Young
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Accusing words! "You did that on purpose!" A perceived mistreatment, but worse, an intentional mistreatment. What do you do ‘on purpose?' What do you not do ‘on purpose?' The Bible clearly states that our God is a purposeful God. Eph. 1:9-10 describes his redemptive purpose in bringing all creation under the umbrella of his eternal purpose in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Paul comes back to God's purpose several times in the book of Ephesians, claiming that God's eternal purpose is made visible through the church.

If we are to be like God, we must have a purpose in this life. If we belong to God, our purpose coincides with God's eternal purpose. Without purpose of some kind, life is interminable and boring. One of the blessings of life which is also a mystery is that we have some freedom to choose our purpose. The secret of a successful life in this world lies in the right selection of one's purpose. Even more so, the secret of a successful life for God lies in the right selection of one's purpose and allowing that purpose to guide one's life.

The most miserable persons in life are those who have no purpose. Such are merely surviving. I was driving home for lunch a few years ago when I saw him. A hitchhiker was thumbing a ride. He was not going my way and I drove on by. Less than an hour later, I was on my way back to the office. The same hitchhiker was still thumbing a ride, but still he was not going my way. He had changed sides of the road and was apparently wanting to go in the opposite direction. Rather reminds me of the question, "Is anybody going anywhere?"

Not only are we as Christians to have a purpose, we are to live according to that purpose. Purpose drives us, eats us up, motivates us. Everything we do is 'on purpose,' that is, moving us toward our purpose. Purpose drives our life. We have no time for tasks that are ‘off purpose.' We are happiest when we are pursuing our purpose, and when our purpose is God's purpose.

The importance of purpose, and the difficulty of seeing another's purpose clearly, is well illustrated in a poignant story by Don Marquis of Archy. A cockroach watched a moth try desperately to break into an electric light bulb and fry himself on the glowing filament. The moth explained moth philosophy: Better to be happy for a moment and be burned up with beauty than to live a long time and be bored all the while. The cockroach, as many humans, thought: Myself, I would rather have half the happiness and twice the longevity. At the same time, however, I wish there was something I wanted as badly as the moth wanted to fry himself.

What do you really want in life? Why not take time for a "purpose check?" The life driven by God's purpose is genuinely fulfilling and fulfilled.

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Last updated October 9, 2003.