Many of us struggle to figure out our purpose in life. We long to live full, meaningful lives, but our reality often falls short. We might feel like we’re just going through the motions. Or, we might work really hard at something we thought would bring us meaning (e.g., making lots of money), but when we get it, we still feel a sense of dissatisfaction in the pit of our stomach.
Faith and Purpose
As a person of faith, I think the Bible has something important to say about purpose and meaning. In the Old Testament, Abraham was a very important figure. The Bible says that God made a covenant with Abraham, which is kind of like a big promise. Abraham was going to be the father of God’s chosen people, the Israelites.
In his interactions with Abraham, God tells him something about his purpose. I think we can use Abraham’s purpose as a model for our own lives. In the passage, God tells Abraham, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:17-18).
Blessed to Be a Blessing
Did you catch it? God is going to bless Abraham, and in turn Abraham will bless others. We are blessed to be a blessing.
I think this is the key to living a meaningful life. We weren’t designed to just make tons of money, be successful, or have a nice car. Those things won’t ultimately bring you a sense of purpose. We are designed to use what we have been given—our money, time, and talents—to bless others.
If you are struggling with meaning and purpose, ask yourself these key questions:
- How much time am I spending on activities that benefit only myself, vs. activities that benefit others?
- How am I using my resources (e.g., money, time, talents) to bless others?
- What is my ultimate goal in life? Is it self-focused or other-focused?
- What about the world breaks my heart? How could I roll up my sleeves and be a blessing in that area?
- Are the closest people in my life (e.g., family, friends) more focused on blessing themselves or blessing others? How could I surround myself with people who are focused on using their resources to bless others?
- What is one thing I could do today to bless someone who comes across my path?
The story of Abraham gives us a clue about how to live a life of meaning and purpose. We are blessed so that we can bless others. Orient your life toward that goal, and see what happens for you.