What Is Your Purpose?
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6
During one of my early attempts at sobriety, I worked through the 12 steps with my sponsor. I believed in the information, but when it came to step 12 – We tried to carry this message to alcoholics – I wasn’t really interested in living it. At the time, I’d largely been able to maintain secrecy about my addiction. Reaching out to others seemed like it might jeopardize my privacy and dignity and so, I remained largely unwilling to help those struggling with addiction.
Honestly, I don’t think my recovery was at the point where I would have done a lot of good, but I’m not sure which came first. Was it my lackluster recovery that made me unwilling to reach out, or was it my unwillingness to reach out that made my recovery poor? I don’t know. I do know that now, a legitimate recovery means that I must reach out to help those around me. God has given me the experience and the tools to help others and so, I must do so. To not do this would mean I’m not living the life of recovery and I’m not doing what God put me here to do. I have a purpose and now I must obey. That is far more important and gratifying than any amount of dignity I could scrape together by maintaining secrecy about my addiction.
In today’s passage, Paul said that as Christians, we all have gifts that we’re meant to use to carry out God’s will. We all have a mission (or missions) and we all have purpose. Whether or not we fulfill that purpose, however, is up to us. We cannot thwart God’s eternal will, but we can miss out on his plan for our lives. Or, in abandoning our way and following him, we can know the life, joy, and peace for which we were made.
If we want to know authentic life and faith, then we must ask, What gifts has God given me? How does he want me to use them? What is my purpose? We must seek answers and then, we must do what God put us on this Earth to do.