#088: I Don’t Need A Job, I Need A Purpose!

I don’t need a job, I need a purpose! That’s what the young technician said as she scratched my back with a couple dozen allergens to test me for any significant allergic reactions.

Light Path Psalm 119, Purpose

Perhaps you’ve felt the same way at times. I know I’ve felt that way myself several times during my career. Yes, I have a great job, and I like what I am doing, but there’s this nagging feeling in my heart that I should be doing more with my life, that there is a higher calling, a greater purpose that I should be fulfilling.

Paul, writing to the Corinthians said that they should lead the lives God had assigned them, and to which God had called them.

17  Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. 21  Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 24  So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1 Corinthians 7:17, 21, 24 ESV)

In other words, we should be serving God regardless of our position in life or our careers. We should not wait to serve God until we are in a different stage of life, or in a different job. So, if we should be serving God right now, how can we know what it is God wants us to do?

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#087: Does God Really Have a Purpose For Each of Us?

Does God really have a purpose for each of us? And if so, what is it? We’ve probably all wondered this ourselves, and most of us have probably had the question asked of us at one time or another, in one form or another.

Purpose, Man

I admit, at first, it seems this question is a bit off the usual topic of leadership in the marketplace, but it is such an important, universal question I think it deserves some attention. Plus, I think by the time you finish reading this article you’ll agree it really does fit as a topic for us as leaders in the marketplace!

Thanks to Marcin K. from Poland for sending me this question, “Does God really have a purpose for each of us?” If you have a question you would like me to address in a future blog, you can write me at ron@ronkelleher.com.

 

Let’s start answering this question at the most basic level, by asking the question, “Does God have a purpose for man and if so, what is it?”

Does God have a Purpose for Mankind?

  1. God created the world and everything in the world.

“For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the world is Mine, and all it contains” Psalm 50:10-12 NASB).

 “Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine” (Job 41:11 NASB). 

  1. God did not create us because He was lonely, or because He needed us.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:24-25 NASB). 

  1. Rather, God created us for His glory.

“…everyone called by My name and created for My glory. I have formed him; indeed, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7 HCSB). 

  1. God rejoices in us.

“For as a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you; and as a groom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5 (HCSB). 

  1. We are part of God’s family.

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1 NASB).

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19 NASB).

To summarize, God created the world and everything in it. As Creator, He “owns” all of creation. God does not need man, but created man for His glory, He rejoices over mankind, and we are part of God’s family! Man’s ultimate purpose then is to glorify God, in all ways, in all things, because He is our Creator!

Now that we established mankind’s overall purpose to glorify God, let’s take a more close-up view to consider our purpose as individuals in God’s kingdom.

Does God have a Purpose for us as Individuals?

  1. God wants us to be like Him.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).

  1. God created each of us as unique individuals.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV).

  1. God created each of us for a specific purpose

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). 

  1. God enabled us to fulfill our specific purpose by giving us specials skills.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV). 

  1. God blesses us when we do what He has called us to do.

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:17 NIV). 

To summarize, God wants us to become less and less like the world and more and more like Him. God created each of us unique, with unique sets of DNA. There is no other you that has ever been, or ever will be created. Knowing our unique make-up, God prepared in advance works that only we could do. God gave each of us specials gifts and talents that He expects us to use to do the work He has specifically gifted us to do. Once we know what God expects of us, and the work He wants us to do, He promised to bless us when we do what He has called and gifted us to do.

Application

Now the remaining question some of you might be asking is, “But what is God’s specific plan for ME!” That question is well beyond the scope of a short article like this one so I suggest you review a couple of great resources that will help you discover God’s specific plan for you:

The Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For? By Rick Warren

S.H.A.P.E. Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life by Erik Rees and Rick Warren

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome. Do you ever have trouble accepting God’s overall purpose for mankind? Do you struggle with the idea that God has adopted us into His family? Do you see God’s plan for you as an individual play out in the gifts and talents He has given you? Most important, are you doing what God has uniquely gifted you to do?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God

#086: What to do When the Future Seems Hopeless!

Have you ever faced a seemingly impossible situation? A time of desperation, when all seems lost, and the future seems hopeless? If so, you need to look no further than the example of Ruth for some very practical actions to take when all seems lost, and you have needs to be met.

Ruth

The book of Ruth is a wonderful story of God’s grace and His redemptive plan working in the lives of His wayward children. Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, left Bethlehem due to a famine and went to live in Moab, a gentile country. Their two sons married Moabite women, Orpah, and Ruth. Over the course of the next ten years, while living in Moab, Naomi’s husband died, as did her two sons. Daily life in a gentile country as a widowed Jewish woman caring for two gentile daughters-in-law would be a hopeless struggle for survival.

Naomi decides her prospects for survival are better back in Bethlehem so she plans a return trip to her homeland, but without Orpah and Ruth. Orpah agrees to stay with her people in Moab, but Ruth declares her loyalty to Naomi, vowing to stay with her until death. Ruth even pledges loyalty to the Jewish people and to God (1:16-17).

Naomi and Ruth, a Jew and a gentile, both widows, with no means of support arrive in Bethlehem just as the harvest season begins. Their situation must have seemed hopeless. As chapter 2 unfolds we learn that Naomi has a kinsmen redeemer, and if he will redeem them, perhaps their needs will be met. Ruth plans to glean in the fields to secure food to eat, and it turns out that the field she gleans in is owned by Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer.

As chapter 3 opens we see Ruth take five specific actions that ultimately results in their needs being met by God in an incredible way.

Listen (vv. 1-4)

Naomi gives Ruth very specific instructions for what will happen on the threshing floor, how to dress, and what to do as the evening progressed. Ruth listens to Naomi’s advice without question.

Obey (vv. 5-9)

Ruth promises to obey Naomi and then follows her instructions exactly.

Believe (vv. 10-14)

Ruth believes Boaz when he says he will take care of her one way or another, and discretely follows his instructions.

Receive (vv. 15-17)

Ruth receives the gift of grain from Boaz and returns to Naomi.

Wait (v. 18)

After giving a full report to Naomi, Ruth waits for Boaz to fulfill his promise.

Application

What do you do when you are facing a hopeless situation and have needs that can only be met by God? Consider Ruth’s 3-C’s example.

1) Common Sense. Ruth used common sense. From the first day when Naomi announced her plan to return to her homeland, Ruth exercised common sense in determining her course of action.

2) Careful Thought. Ruth gave careful thought. Naomi knew the culture of her people well and Ruth listened carefully to her advice.

3) Conscientious Action. Ruth took deliberate, conscientious action. She did everything she could and left the rest to God. We should do the same:

  • Prayerfully listen to God for His instruction.
  • Courageously obey God in every detail.
  • Believe that whatever God has promised, God can and will deliver.
  • Receive with thanksgiving God’s blessings into your life.
  • Wait patiently for God to fulfill His promises.

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome. Is there a time in your life when you faced a seemingly hopeless situation that eventually worked out, and now looking back you see God’s hand guiding and directing you?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Character

#085: 9 Steps to Employee Growth through Discipline

There comes a time in the life of every manager when an employee crosses the line. Whether on purpose or by accident every employee has made mistakes that justify discipline.

Employee Discipline

But discipline is another of the subjects you’ll be hard-pressed to find out much about in textbooks or business magazines. It’s too bad really because most managers get their skills at disciplining employees from how their parents or bosses disciplined them. And where did they get their skills? From their parents and bosses, of course!

It’s like a lady who always cuts off the end of her roast before she put it in the pan. A friend asked why and she said, “Because my mother always did.” So one day she asked her mother why she cut off the end of her roasts and her mother said, “Because your grandmother always did.” When asked why she cut off the ends of her roast grandma said, “So they would fit in my small roasting pan!” Far, far too many managers provide discipline to their employees the way someone else did without much thought about whether it was a good approach.

To some managers, the words discipline and punishment are interchangeable, but nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Webster says that punishment is, “a suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution,” or “a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure.” The word discipline comes from the Latin disciplina meaning teaching, or learning. Mr. Webster defines discipline as, “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” Perhaps that is why Dr. James Dobson named his best-selling book Dare To Discipline, rather than Dare To Punish! Given a choice, I would much rather work for a boss who understands and appreciates the differences between punishment and discipline.

There are occasions when a manager’s best course of action is punishment. Some employees will steal, use drugs, or start fights. Under these circumstances, punishment like a demotion, probation, or termination is the best solution. However, most employees need discipline far more frequently than they need punishment.

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