Recently, a friend asked a question in a Whatsapp group I belong to about Primary and Secondary purposes. Apparently, someone had taught, mentioned or implied that such categories of purpose exist. I responded that while I was not familiar with such categorization, I am aware of another categorization (for want of a better word) of purpose into General and specific purposes.
What I want to do in this piece is to share with you my thoughts on this subject. I have met too many people who have become confused about this issue and I think it is time I provided some clarity for such people.
First of all, the idea of categorization of purpose stems from another question that often bothers people about purpose. I have been asked a number of times if a person can have more than one purpose. From my interactions with people who ask this question, I have seen that they are generally unclear about this because from their analysis of their gifts and passions, they have realized that they are capable of achieving more than one thing with their lives. This is why purpose discovery is beyond the analysis of your gifts, talents, passions and experiences. Purpose discovery must begin and end with God. He is our Creator. He is the One who can tell in specific terms why He has put each of us here. Our gifts, talents, passions and experiences can only be pointers, they are not enough to ground our discovery without a revelation from God as to why He put us here.
My answer to the question of whether a person can have more than one purpose has always been that I believe God had one specific thing in mind when He created you and I think this is consistent with Scriptures. I have not seen anyone in scripture who had two purposes. It may require a depth of clarity to see the unity in their purposes, but I encourage you to take your time to study. You will find that men in scriptures were not jumping from one purpose to another neither were they running with different purposes. God is not the author of confusion.
It may be helpful to understand that your purpose is like a tree. Its root may extend to several places, it may have many branches, yet it is still one tree. Again, understanding how the different discoveries you have made about your life unify into one may require a depth of clarity but it is not out of your reach. I have personally walked several people through the process. It is amazing when you realize how all the pieces fit perfectly into one thing your whole life can be about.
Let me close by sharing some thoughts about the three dimensions of your purpose. I prefer to use the word “dimensions” rather than “categories” because I find it more apt in this context. First, there is the ULTIMATE purpose of every man which is about God’s dominion mandate to mankind i.e. to extend the influence of God’s Kingdom to every part of the Earth. Second, there is the GENERAL purpose of every believer (I hope you notice the specificity) which is to glorify God through worship, service, missions, discipleship and fellowship with other believers. Lastly, there is God’s SPECIFIC purpose for your life which is your unique way of fulfilling the Ultimate and General purposes by expressing your unique gifts, talents, personality, experiences and passions.
See, there is nothing complicated about why God has put you here. I recommend that you read this piece about the Kingdom to understand the Ultimate dimension of your Purpose and then read Rick Warren’s classic, Purpose Driven Life to understand its General dimension. My whole life work is to help you discover your purpose in its specific dimension. I believe I have shared a lot of actionable content to assist you in this journey and I certainly will do more.
Today and always, my prayer for you is that God’s light will shine on your path to give you clarity and precision about why you are here.
How have you found this helpful? Blessed? Please let me know in the comment section.
You matter to me always.
I call you blessed.