Among the questions a pastor gets asked on Twitter: “How do I know what God’s purpose is for my life?”
Great Question. Hard to answer in 140 characters or less. I gave it my best shot in three tweets. Now, I’ll expand that to three posts.
In post 1, I said that Knowing God’s specific purpose for your life starts with knowing God’s general purpose for humanity.
The second truth: God’s purpose for your life arises from the gifts God has given you and the heart God has shaped in you.
We all have different gifts, different talents, different natural abilities. Have you taken the time to ask yourself what you’re good at? Have you spent the time reflecting on what you have to offer? Giftedness is discovered by deep reflection.
But reflection isn’t a one time thing. Our lives oscillate between action and reflection. We take action, we try things, we fail, we triumph, we learn. Without action, our reflection produces mere theory. With action, our reflection produces wisdom.
Put another way – you will not discover your life purpose playing Call of Duty, nor will it become clear to you while binge watching The Walking Dead. Entertainment is fine for a break or as a treat, but it is a poor substitute for a life calling. If you allow it, entertainment will snatch your hours and days and leave you with a husk of a life.
Here’s an angle on the question of giftedness: have you tested yourself by trying new and different things? Have you challenged yourself to learn new skills and concepts and fields of knowledge? Have you strengthened your gifts by pushing them to the point of failure?
Giftedness is not honed when things come easy, but in persistence after things get hard.
Finally, look to your heart. As you’ve acted, tested yourself, and reflected, what have you felt? Where have you felt your heart rush and your senses pop to alertness? What has thrilled you? What makes you angry? Don’t run from your emotions – use them as signposts to find what matters most.
Giftedness is not discovered when we’re comfortably numb, but rather when we’re most energized and alive.
Want an example for your reflection on giftedness? Check out my earlier post on learning from a quarter life crisis. There you’ll find the story and process I used in my 20s to clarify my values and what mattered most to me.
I hope this has been helpful. If so, please share with your friends. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter – you’ll get a regular dose of inspiration and encouragement in your inbox.