Is it really the last day of the book? *sniff* It’s kind of bittersweet. Sort of like getting ready to bid a fond friend farewell. *sniff* I’m excited with how I feel after reading this book – a great book. I feel I’m a better person for having read it. It has opened my eyes a bit more to whom I wish to become. I’m a work in progress and this book has offered progress, which is a good use of the word in this instance, as we all know progress is not always a good thing, but in this case, I would say that it is. I’m also excited (and I admit, a bit nervous, as the next book is a real challenge for me, as I am a procrastinating clutter-junkie like you have never seen) to begin the upcoming book, Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
Ok, on to this last chapter:
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Living with purpose is the only way to truly live. Without purpose, we are only existing. The three main issues we struggle with while on our journey are identity: “Who am I?” The second, importance: “Do I matter? And the third, impact: “What is my place in life?” All these are answered in God’s five purposes we’ve talked about throughout this book and the last 40 days of this blog.
Now that we know what God wants from us, our job now is to go and do those things. How will we go about doing them? That is a different answer per person, as we are all unique, our SHAPEs are all different and we are granted with various talents, gifts and strengths. We are to use those gifts we are each given, to honor God. We can do every single thing in our lives while and as an offering of thanks.
To keep us on track, stop doing those things we know we should not be doing, it is beneficial for each of us to develop a purpose statement for our lives and review it often – daily or weekly.
A life purpose statement is “a statement that summarizes God’s purposes for your life. In your own words, you affirm your commitment to God’s five purposes for your life.” It points the direction of your life. You write down the path of your life – where you are headed, what you “intend to do with your time, life, and money, as well as what you are not going to do.”
Your “statement defines “success” for you.” What do you believe is important? Don’t think about what’s important to others. These are your values.
Clarify your roles. These change with the different stages we go through in life, but our purposes should always remain the same.
Your statement should express your SHAPE. These are the unique ways God made you to serve him. How are you comfortable serving him? These are your comfort zones, the way you do things, how you serve in your own unique way.
When creating your life statement, consider the following questions:
“What will be the center of my life? This is about worship. Who and what are you going to live for? When God’s at the center, you worship. When he’s not, you worry.” Simple enough. We should have God in everything we do – the center of all we do – loving our family, having a career, sports or a hobby, money, having fun – everything.
“What will be the character of my life? This is about discipleship. God cares more about what you are rather than what you do. Make a list of the character qualities you want to work on and develop in your life.”
“What will be the contribution of my life? This is about service. Knowing your combination of spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences (SHAPE), what would be your best role in the family of God? How can you make a difference? . . . even Jesus didn’t meet the needs of everyone while on earth.” Based on your SHAPE, you need to figure out how you can best serve and whom. Jesus said, “I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.” “Each of us bears different fruit.”
“What will be the communication of my life?” This is about your mission to unbelievers. This is about your testimony and sharing what God has done in your life and how Jesus has changed you. It’s also about your life lessons and godly passions that you should share with the world. Do you feel drawn to reach out to a “special target group of people?” Write this in your statement.
This statement should also include the mission of raising your children, how you wish them “to know Christ” and “understand his purposes for their lives, and to send them out on their mission in the world.”
“Before most unbelievers accept the Bible as credible, they want to know that we are credible.” We should live our lives in a way that shows and proves we love and honor God and Jesus, and that we are living for them.
“What will be the community of my life? This is about fellowship. You should include an expression of your love for God’s church in your statement.” It may take weeks or even months before you are satisfied with your life purpose statement. “Pray” about it. “Think about it, talk with close friends, and reflect on Scripture.” Mr. Warren offers his email address if we would like to see some examples from other people (see appendix 2 of the book).
It also helps to not only have our detailed life purpose statement, but also a “shorter statement or slogan that summarizes the five purposes for your life that’s memorable and inspires you.” An example would be:
“My life purpose is to worship Christ with my heart, serve him with my shape, fellowship with his family, grow like him in character, and fulfill his mission in the world so he receives glory.” I like that one. He offers five in his book, but I listed my favorite.
You may have many questions about what God’s will is for your job, marriage, where to live, go to school and “there may be multiple possibilities that would all be in God’s will for you. What matters the most is fulfilling “God’s eternal purposes regardless of where you live or work or whom you marry.”
It’s not always going to be easy, although there will be some easy times. When the going gets rough and tough, “don’t give in to discouragement.” Try to focus on your final outcome – what God will see and reward you for in heaven. Try to do everything with God in mind, not what others think. I know how hard that one is! God matters more than those people. Those people are not always going to be in your life 24/7. God is in your life 24/7, seeing everything you do, say, feel, think. What are we going to do about that? What will we do to make God smile? This is my daily motto for living my life. Yes, I fall short quite often. I mess up every single day one way or another. However, God picks me up, dusts me off and allows me to make amends and start again. Fresh, forgetting that mess up. Nice to know, huh? How will you make a difference in your life? In the lives of others? How will you show that God and Jesus reside in your heart and they are the center of everything you do? Will you.
I hope you have enjoyed this book as much as I have. It’s been a real blessing. I hope you got something out of it that you can use in your daily lives. Let me know how or if it has affected you. Thanks for hanging out with me.
Onto the next book! I’ll try to figure out today or tomorrow exactly how many days I’ll need to go through this next book. It won’t be as long as this one, I feel certain, but it will be quite a process, for me at least, as my home and office and life are completely disorganized!
Finally Friday! Make it an awesome one! Love ya! *hug*