These two statements sum up what this book is all about – God’s five purposes for your life:
- “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
- “Love your neighbour as yourself”: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
- “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.
- “baptise them into…”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with His church through fellowship.
- “teach them to do all things…”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.
Keeping these five purposes in balance is not easy. We all tend to overemphasize the purposes we feel most passionate about and neglect the others. If you are serious about staying on track, you will need to develop these habits;
- Talk it through with a spiritual partner or small group. The best way to internalize the principles in this book is to discuss them with others in a small-group setting. The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.” We learn best in community. Our minds are sharpened and our convictions are deepened through conversation. Remember, we are meant to grow together, not seperately.
- Give yourself a regular spiritual check-up. The best way to balance the five purposes in your life is to evaluate yourself periodically. God places a high value on the habit of self-evaulation. At least five times in Scripture we are told to test and examine our own spiritual health. We have developed a simple personal evaluation tool that has helped thousands of people stay on-purpose for God. If you would like a free copy of this purpose-driven life spiritual health assessment, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Write down your progress in a journal. The best way to reinforce your progress in fulfilling God’s purposes for your life is to keep a spiritual journal. This is not a diary of events, but a record of the life lessons you don’t want to forget. The Bible says, “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.” We remember what we record. Don’t just write down the pleasant things. As David did, record your doubts, fears and struggles with God. Our greatest lessons come our of pain and the Bible says God keeps a record of our tears.
- Pass on what you know to others. If you want to keep growing, the best way to learn more is to pass on what you have already learned. Proverbs tells us, The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”
“Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do.” Ephesians 5:15
Which of these four things do you think you’ll be able to start doing to cement what you’ve discovered along this journey to discovering your purpose? Do you already do some of it? I’ve recently started journalling (just last week!) and I’m seeing that it really is worth the effort. It’s great therapy to get things off my chest and onto paper every night.
I’ll see you tomorrow for the very last chapter of The Purpose Driven Life!
PLEASE NOTE: Quotations in this and other posts relating to The Purpose Driven Life (usually entitled Day:?) are sourced from The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren unless otherwise stated. This is an independant study and is based on my opinion and experience only. Copies of The Purpose Driven Life book are available for purchase from all good christian books stores, including Koorong. The first seven chapters of the book can be downloaded FREE from Rick Warren’s official site here.