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Your Purpose Is Not Your Job

Last Monday night, I invited a group of women into my home to talk about how to discover your purpose and passion in this life. The room was filled with people with impressive professions: accountants, doctors, bloggers, teachers, trainers and more. A who’s who of the most influential vocations in our culture.

Margaret Meade once said that “a small group of thoughtful people can change the world.” And these women truly could change the world. 

But at the end of the day, no matter our profession, we all long for more in this life. We all want to know deep in our hearts what our true purpose is and what that looks like lived out.

But what if you were told that your life purpose is not your profession or role at home? 

What if the job that you spent years of college learning about and countless hours training for was not the total sum of your purpose? 

For many of us, this kind of statement shakes us to the core. But for others, it’s extremely liberating to realize that there is more to this life than our 9-5 job or our role at home. Our life purpose goes far beyond that.

Our real purpose is lifelong. It’s not solely defined in our career, but rather it’s a life statement that is lived into our titles, roles and every aspect of our lives. And it’s up to each of us to come up with our own purpose statement beyond our vocations that incorporates the talents God has given us. 

For example, my friend Lisa’s purpose statement is to “create environments where life transformation can take place.” While this is lived out in her job as a church small group director, it’s also lived out in the ways she entertains in her home and interacts with people on a daily basis. This life purpose goes past her job title and marriage status. It’s infused into every part of who she is and what she does.

If our life purpose was restricted solely to our profession or role, it would end just there. It would be compartmentalized into a very small picture of the big picture of life and it would create extreme pressure to find the perfect job. And anything short of the perfect job could become a fertile ground for dissatisfaction or disappointment. But God’s purpose for our lives goes far beyond us. 

In the book A Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says: 

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“The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment … If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.”

So how do you find your real purpose? Begin by asking yourself, “What do I care about? Who do I enjoy serving? What would I do even if I didn’t get paid to do it?” The things you think about and do during your free time are a good indicator of what you should be doing with your life.

We make this whole idea of finding our purpose in life much harder than it really should be. We spend hours upon hours looking for the perfect job to never feel truly fulfilled. 

In reality, it’s quite basic. At the end of the day, our purpose is all about tapping into the unique gifts God has given us, finding a way to live those out here on earth and, in the process, bring glory to Him. 

And that’s much, much better than any job could ever provide.

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