Why Your Purpose in Life Isn’t All About You

The poppy in the photo is beautiful, isn’t it? The red color is striking against the green vegetation. It’s easy to want to be like that gorgeous flower—noticed and appreciated. Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with that. But what happens when the need for attention and self-gratification become the primary driving force in your world? What happens when you make everything about you?

I knew a young man who was not only an entrepreneur, he was a brilliant scientist. He created an instrument that could be used in hospitals to ease a patient’s discomfort during specific tests and also speed up the results, thereby saving lives. Sounds like a wonderful gift to the medical field, doesn’t it?

He started his own company, and for a time, the scientist gained wealth and accumulated all the material things he desired. But while receiving attention in national magazines for his achievements, his personal life was falling apart. In a matter of a few years, he was divorced. His career took a dive as well when his partner strategically went behind his back and took over the company he’d poured himself into.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV)

The scientist initially had his heart in the right place. He wanted to make a contribution to the world and make things easier for hurting people. Losing his company and almost everything he had devastated him. He was broken, but he wasn’t destroyed. After being reminded—in a very harsh way—that wealth and fame wouldn’t bring him happiness, he began to rebuild his life.

“When you realize God’s purpose for your life isn’t just about you, He will use you in a mighty way.” ~ Dr. Tony Evans

Jon Pedley’s life is a wonderful example of that quote. The millionaire led a swinging life that
included heavy drinking, womanizing, and other vices, until a car accident caused by his drinking put him in a coma and near death in 2002. But, he survived and came out of it a changed man. He found God, and inspired by a friend who did charity work in Uganda, sold everything he had in 2010.

He then used the proceeds, moved into a mud hut in Uganda, and started a charity for orphans called J10:10. Its focus isn’t only on local children. British children with a troubled past are also sent there to help the locals and ultimately help themselves. This organization also works to establish clean water, healthcare, and education in rural Uganda.

When Jon Pedley realized that it wasn’t all about him, God began to use him in a mighty way, and he’s since then made a huge impact in the lives of many people.

Of course, most of us don’t have billions or millions of dollars to give away… But we can still make a difference. For instance, my neighbor spends five mornings a week with an elderly woman next door, keeping her company and helping with simple tasks. These two women, though years apart in age, share their love for God, and they’ve grown to care deeply for each other. Purpose brought them together.

Studies have shown that volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22 percent reduction in the risk of dying. Research has also shown that volunteering only has health benefits for people who do it in order to help others, rather than to help themselves.

Why does volunteering can give us a deep sense of happiness?

I believe God placed within us a desire to serve others. We need our lives to count for something. We may listen to that inner voice that whispers that it’s not all about us, but with free will, we also have the ability to shut it off. And when we ignore that inner longing for our lives to have a positive and lasting effect on others, we find it difficult to embrace contentment. Instead, we feel empty inside…

We were never created to live a life that was all about taking. We were created to give. And the funny thing is … in giving, we receive tenfold.

What have you done recently that has given you a sense of satisfaction or purpose?



  1. Reminds me of the familiar phrase, "It's not about you anyway."

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary!
      Yeah...it's not all about us. Now if we can just put that into practice. ;-)


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