50. Finding Your ‘Why’

by Mar 4, 20242024

Finding our “why” could be linked to finding our “who” or our “what”! It is akin to discovering our purpose in life. As believers, the best place to begin seeking out such answers begins with asking, “Why has God created us?” and “What direction does Scripture provide to help us find our why?”

The Apostle Paul’s letter we refer to as the book of Romans has some profound and pointed things to say. In the 12th chapter, Paul writes “in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship (v. 1, NIV). In other words, the key to finding our why is to first answer the question, “To Whom do we belong? For it is the answer to this question that is at the core of discovering our why. And for this answer, we look to the whole of Scripture. In it we learn that the life we’ve been given is not for the purpose of pursuing our own pleasures, comforts, conveniences, or fortunes. Referencing Romans 12:1 again, God clearly calls us to offer our lives to Him for the purpose of pleasing Him to the fullest.

God As Center

Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind. And in Romans 12:2, we’re told to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is then that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

These are just a few of the guardrails we’ve been given to help us determine our why. Another more recent example comes to mind – the great runner, Eric Liddell, whose story was made famous in the movie, Chariots of Fire. Eric stated, “I believe God made me for a purpose – but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Because of this, he was inspired to run during a specific season of his life, and this, for the glory of God.

Protecting Your Purpose

So, for us, we can also often discover our “why” from the excitement we experience when we are engaged in pursuing a specific direction. However, this holds true only to the extent we remain inside the guardrails and theme that Scripture provides for our lives. Questions I have found that can provide a “safety net” include:

  • Does my “why” glorify God?
  • Has He prepared me, gifted me, to do what I’m considering/pursuing?
  • Does it fulfill God’s call on my life?

Friends, our “why” does not need to be some Mt. Everest climbing kind of purpose. In contrast, it is almost always stems from the basics – to love God by loving our families and our neighbors. To endeavor to provide and introduce the Gospel to as many as possible. It is to love mercy, do justly and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8), while loving God’s people and God’s Church. It is living for others over ourselves, reflecting a heart of service wherever we are.

Your Unique and Impactful Purpose

What makes this look as unique as the individuals we are, is when we allow God to direct our paths. It is then we discover the God-possibilities of our “why”, as He wraps our skills and interests into a package that models His love for others, obedience to His commandments, and a desire to serve. And friends, anything we may pursue or do is only because of what God provides – even if we feel it is small or inconsequential. As a case in point, in my younger years, I only had the opportunity for doing manual labor at minimum wage. But my “why” became doing all I could in that capacity to love God and serve others until I discovered other opportunities.

In conclusion, a good friend once had me finish this question. “I feel most fully alive when I ___________________. Friends, it’s a good and healthy thing to take time to answer the question, “What is my why?”

The world tells us to find our true self, or to get “ours”, the focus being on pleasing ourselves. Yet Scripture tells us our true self can only be established as we are transparently grounded in the Power that establishes the self, and that is God. Kierkegaard spoke of a focus on self as a “sickness unto death” and pointed to God alone as the One Who liberates us from the despair of a self-focused life.

The way to our “why” is through the cross and no one is more deserving of being our reason to live, than our Savior who died and rose again to give us true life.