Is This As Good As It Gets?
First in a 4-part series about finding and living out your life’s purpose
People hunger for their lives to have meaning … and we believe we can make a difference. 97% of Americans who are self-identified as religiously active believe they have the ability to impact their community and culture.
Furthermore, two out of three adults (66%) disassociated with a conventional church say they are completely committed to making the world, and other people’s lives, better.
But like reclusive author Melvin Udall, who journeyed from isolation to a purposeful, engaged life in the 1997 film As Good As It Gets (TriStar Pictures), people regularly pose the question, “What if this is as good as it gets?”
The Big Question Believers Ask Themselves
It’s a question that these days, Christians are now asking in at least three forms: “Why am I here?” … “What should I do?” … and “What difference will it make?”
Christians define “making a difference” not just busy-work activity, but rather having a purposeful impact. Take Joe, for instance. His business – building construction – has been hit hard by the economy. “But now I’m looking for a different way to success,” he says.
Or Megan, who has just become an empty-nester. She is involved with three or four different activities. “I want to use my skills and experiences to focus on just one or two and have a more significant impact,” she says.
Thirty-something David is happily married with two young children and a flourishing career. “I want to find my life mission now,” says David, “So I have a whole lifetime to pursue it.”
A Big Hunger in the Christian Community
People hunger to know where they fit in God’s story, but more and more believers sidestep traditional routes like connecting with a church home. Although interest in spiritual activity is high, 76 million American adults avoid going to church regularly. A majority of those engage in prayer, reading the Bible, or meeting with a small group during the week. They fear the world is changing the church, rather than the church changing the world – and believe there is more to God’s plan than what they experience in a conventional setting. Meanwhile, many Christians who regularly attend church avoid its inner machinations in order to wrestle to discover God’s call on their lives instead.
Both sets of believers assume a personal responsibility to live with authenticity.
What about you?
A Big Truth for Christ-Followers Everywhere
If you’ve been a Christ-follower for any length of time, you know – at least intellectually – that God made you for a purpose and has placed a call on your life. Scripture indeed explains we are to identify who we are and what we’re to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (NKJV).
- What we are: each person is the product of God’s handiwork, created with a unique spiritual DNA.
- What we do: each of us is created for a specific purpose – to “do good works” which God has set up.
So when you hear a small voice whisper, “There’s more to God’s plan for me than this,” go ahead and listen. (Hint: it’s not the enemy talking.)
During this series, we will trace what can happen when God’s people ask “Why am I here?” … “What should I do?” … and “What difference will it make?”
The answers just may surprise you … and move you to make exciting discoveries in your own life.
Your Place in God’s Story: read the rest of the series
Your Place in God’s Story, Part 2: Why am I Here?
Your Place in God’s Story, Part 3: What Should I Do?
Your Place in God’s Story, Part 4: What Difference Will It Make?