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Did you know that you have a purpose? That there is a reason that you are here? I always knew that I had a purpose, but I just didn’t know what it was. I was even envious of people who found their purpose. Why did it seem that others knew exactly what they were here to do and I didn’t? I spent years floundering not knowing what I was supposed to do.
There are endless books, seminars, and articles dedicated to helping a person find their purpose. Even after reading, studying, and praying on the subject I still felt like I didn’t know why I was here. And literally, one day recently it clicked. I knew what may purpose was. How did I figure it out? Well, it really wasn’t difficult at all. The problem was that I was not listening. I would pray and ask God for guidance, but I never really listened for the answer. But, when I did here is what I found:
What do you enjoy doing?
Your purpose will revolve around your likes. If you have to, make a list of things you enjoy doing. Do you like to read, play sports? Are you crafty? Do you like working with children? The elderly? Now, here is the key, no matter how small you make think it is, put it on the list. For example, you might enjoy looking at stuff on social media. You might not think that could be your purpose, but right now you don’t know what your purpose is. So put it down.
What are you good at doing?
Let’s be honest. Just because we enjoy something, doesn’t mean that we are good at it. I enjoy singing, but I am terrible at it. When anyone asks me at church about singing I simply quote Psalms 100:1 I “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” With the emphasis on noise! So, be honest and identify the talents you have been given.
Now that you have identified things that you enjoy and are good at think about how that plays in your life. I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and my daughter are my world. And I am good at taking care of them. My daughter has a rare medical condition that requires a lot of extra attention. But she is happy, healthy, and doing very well. I am good- no, great at caring for her. So, you may be asking is she saying her purpose is to care for her family? Well, yes it is. But it is bigger than that.
Walk in your Spiritual Gift
Identifying what you are good at what you like doing is the easy part. It is pretty easy to identify your talents when you think about it. You are either good at it or not. But, to walk in your purpose you need to identify the spiritual gifts that God has given. Spiritual gifts are those gifts identified in the Bible that are given by God that are used to uplift the body of Christ.
I believe that we all have a measure of each of these gifts. But, your strength may be in a one or two (or more) specific gifts. Those specific gifts are what you want to focus on. Don’t feel like any speak to you? I have been there too. This is where prayer really comes in. God is no respecter of person, remember. Ask God to show you your gift. Tell him the area you would like to grow in. Do you wish you had the spiritual gift of a teacher? Then ask him to bless you with it. And when the Kindergarten Sunday School teacher is out one Sunday morning, look at that as God giving you an opportunity to walk or grow or explore this gift. So volunteer to help out.
Here is an abbreviated list of the Spiritual Gifts. If nothing speaks to you, don’t fret. There are more. Check out Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28 and 1 Peter 4:10-11.
- Words of Wisdom. Ability to take from own experiences and share what God has taught them, give direction and help provide clarity for others.
- Teaching. Help others to learn the word of God.
- Exhortation the gift of encouragement, do you always seem to have a good word for someone?
- Discernment Clearly seeing the difference between what is Godly and what is not
- Administration. Planing activities, organizing others.
- Apostleship. Leaders of leaders. The “top dog”
- Giving. This is not just monetary, This person give of themselves, very hospitable, and looks for ways to help others
So you have identified what you like to do, your talents, and your spiritual gift. Now what? How can you put this all together so that you are walking in your purpose? For me this took time. First, I had to recognize that my job only be a small part of my purpose. For some, like my husband, their job plays a large role in their purpose. My husband is a probation officer. He specifically works with people in the drug court. Anthony is a people person and people seem to flock to him. His spiritual gifts include words of wisdom, exhortation, and teaching. In his line of work, he is able to encourage others, teach the steps needed to be clean, sober, and productive, and offer advice to maintain sobriety. He does this in away that allows Christ to show through him daily. For my husband, going to work everyday is more than just getting a paycheck. It is part of his ministry.
My purpose lies in other areas of my life. I have identified my spiritual gifts as words of wisdom, discernment and teaching. So, my goal was to find a way to incorporate what I love and what I am good at with my gifts. I have found that sharing my testimony has helped encourage others. It has helped others see the goodness of God and to recognize their blessings. So my purpose is to spread God’s love through sharing my experiences, problems, fears, and joys with others. Starting to share my family’s story on social media is what led me to realize my purpose. That I have something valuable to say. It has taken me along time to find my purpose, but now that I have, I will run (not walk) in my purpose.
What has helped you identify your purpose?