“To be or not to be” (Shakespeare, Hamlet)?
What is our purpose? Why do we exist? Or as the French would ask, “What is our raison d’être?” (Our “reason of being, reason for existence, purpose).
One popular approach is to look within ourselves for purpose.
“What do I want? What makes me happy or comfortable?”
Answering these questions, we set as our purpose the acquisition of these things. Therefore, our purpose for living is this: “I have desires and I exist to fulfill those desires.”
We see this view work itself out today when people view their identity through the lens of desire. They allow their appetite for sex or food or pleasure to determine purpose. Many contemporary social movements find their origins in this desire-driven approach to life.
But what if our reason for being is found outside rather than inside ourselves? What if we are creations of a Creator God? And what if He made us for His own purposes?
If God made us for a purpose, then don’t you want to know it?
I believe that God made us for a purpose. I believe that He calls us back to that purpose through His Son, Jesus Christ. When we believe in Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior, God gives our life new purpose.
The first question in the Westminster Catechism (Written in 1647 to teach biblical doctrine.) addresses this important matter. It asks:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]
- [a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
- [b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4
So, the best diagnostic question for purpose-filled living might be this: “Does my life glorify God?”
Or to paraphrase Shakespeare’s words, we all have to decide “to be or not to be” what God wants us to be.