10 – How To Develop a Written Life Purpose Statement
Adapted from The Seven Seasons of a Man’s Life and The Man In The Mirror(Zondervan)
There is a sense in which all men are alike and God gives the same universal purposes to every man. These include four areas:
The Great Commission: To Build the Kingdom (Matthew 28: 18-20)
The Cultural Commission: To Tend the Culture (Genesis 1: 28)
The Great Commandment: To Love the King (Matthew 22:37)
The New Commandment: To Love the King’s Children (John 13:34)
Your Personal Life Purpose
There is a sense in which each of us is unique, and God gives each of us a specific call on our lives. In other words, God has a personal, unique, and specific purpose for your life waiting to be discovered. It is the particular mix of how God wants us to “personally” fulfill these four universal purposes.
How can we discover God’s personal purpose for our lives? By preparing a Written Life Purpose Statement. I believe that every man should prepare a Written Life Purpose Statement that reflects his understanding of “what his life is all about.”
The idea of a Written Life Purpose Statement answers life’s larger questions-not “What do I do today?”, but “Why do I exist? What are my functions in life?” It reflects our examination of life’s larger meaning. Our Life Purpose is what God wants us to do, it’s why He put us here. A Life Purpose Statement is the thread of continuity that you can weave into the long-term view of life. It describes how you perceive the theory of your life.
The getting of this Written Life Purpose Statement can be the hardest kind of work, exacting and exhausting, but well worth the effort. Once settled, it is a constant reminder of why you exist. It describes in a general and overarching way what your life is all about. Like a compass it points the way to the meaning and significance we all yearn for. Like a gyroscope, whenever you are knocked off balance it will help you stand upright. It answers the questions, “Why do I exist?” and “What is the purpose of my life?”.
Developing a Written Life Purpose Statement
Follow these practical steps.
- Ask God, in prayer, to reveal your personal earthly purpose to you. Read Psalm 32:8 and trust in God’s promise that He will answer.
- Search the Scriptures for verses and phrases that capture you sense of God’s purpose for your earthly life. Look for verses that describe your area of passion. Record verses that give you a special sense of meaning and purpose, picking out themes that are big enough to last a lifetime. Here are some which you can begin to explore:
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Acts 20: 24
Joshua 24: 15
1 Corinthians 10: 31
Matthew 6: 33
Ephesians 2: 10
Matthew 22: 37-40
Philippians 3: 10
Matthew 28: 19-20
Proverbs 30: 7-9
John 4: 34
Micah 6: 8
John 15: 1-9, 15
Acts 1: 8
John 17: 4
Ecclesiastes 12: 13
Other Verses: _________________________________________
- Go slow and wait for God to reveal Himself. Be patient, it may take some time. Don’t necessarily think that you will work on your Written Life Purpose Statement for a few days-it may take weeks or months.
- Once you find the verses and phrases that you believe express God’s earthly purpose for you, create a concise summary statement. Write a “draft” Written Life Purpose Statement here:
Draft-Written Life Purpose Statement
Put the draft statement away for a few days. Come back to it and see if it still captures the driving passion of your heart. Once you are satisfied you have it, write it here and in the front of your Bible and date it.
Written Life Purpose Statement
- Make a commitment to come back and revisit your Written Life Purpose Statement after a period of six months or a year. Make this a habit. Reevaluating your purpose statement helps you be sure that your life is focused on the will of God.
- Do all of the above asking God to give a passion for your life so you will not be numbered among those timid souls who never know what it is liek to taste the full measure of God. Decide to buy something great with the rest of the days you have to spend!
Do you have a clear understanding of God’s purpose for your life? Do you have a “compass” to help keep you on track? Does God’s purpose for your life serve as a grid through which to filter the decisions and commitments that you make?
If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, why not take some time right now and begin the process of working on your Life Purpose Statement? Although it will take some effort on your part, you will receive a tremendous return on your investment.
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
© 1998. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved.