Purpose and Meaning: 70 Things Every Man Needs to Know
50. Purpose and Meaning
A man’s greatest felt need is his need to be significant–to make a difference and know that his life matters. Apart from God, life has no meaning and no purpose. Teach men that God has a purpose for their lives. Teach your men that God has eternal and earthly purposes. Teach your men that all men are alike in certain respects and, as such, God prescribes four universal earthly purposes for all men. Teach your men that God also has a personal earthly purpose for each man. That purpose is the unique way in which God blends the four universals together in time, place, relationships, work, and so forth. It looks like this:
I. Eternal Purpose
God’s eternal purpose for us is eternal life.
II. Earthly Purpose
God’s earthly purpose for us is to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
A. Universal Earthly Purpose
There is a sense in which all men are alike, and God gives all men the same universal purposes. The Bible reveals four universal purposes (or, if you prefer, one purpose with four parts)–two that relate to relationships and two that relate to tasks:
1. The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37): To love God
2. The Royal Commandment (John 13:3-35): To love one another
3. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20): To build the kingdom
4. The Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:28): To tend the culture
B. Personal Life Purpose
Each man is unique, and God gives each a different personal life purpose (Philippians 2:13; Acts 17:26; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10-11). Like a fingerprint, one’s life purpose is a one-of-a-kind set of marching orders that combines the four universal purposes to which God calls all men. That unique combination draws from a man’s spiritual gifts, natural abilities, acquired competencies, assigned times and places, roles, deeds, service, love, and the Spirit–all of which issue from Jesus Christ.
Teach men how to find meaning in life. God has created us to find meaning, but God’s meaning only comes in God’s way. Within these four purposes, every man will find meaning in the way God intends. To that end, suggest men develop a Written Life Purpose Statement. (A guide can be found at www.pastoringmen.com.) Your men will feel most useful, most significant, and most happy when they are doing what they were created to do.
For More: (1) Go to www.pastoringmen.com and click on “50. Purpose and Meaning” to see or hear “Significance: The Search for Meaning and Purpose” and “Purpose: Why Do I Exist?” in The Man in the Mirror Remix series; (2) read “How to Develop a Written Life Purpose Statement.”
#431·· © 2011. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for non-commercial ministry purposes with proper attribution.