JustPurpose

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY?

thank God

I had a discussion with some friends some days ago about how our jobs may be keeping us from doing the things we are very passionate about. It became clear to us that sometimes all that a job does for you is to keep you from working. Does that not sound interesting? Is there a difference between your job and your work?

Have you ever heard speakers say if you look forward to Friday in your current workplace, you need to find a new job? I have read many stories of people who left their jobs because they felt it was not expressing their passions. The story of a young man who resigned from his six figures paying job to pursue his dreams readily comes to mind. He soon found out that life was not as easy as he thought and that people who stay stuck in an unfulfilling job do so for good reason which is that it puts food on their table and helps them keep body and soul together.

So, I’ll like to share some thoughts on this issue. If you feel stuck in your current job, I hope these thoughts help you find clarity and begin to live fully and well.

  1. UNDERSTANDING THE WORK-JOB DICHOTOMY

There is a difference between your job and your work. Some of us are blessed to find both in one preoccupation. Your job is what you do to keep you busy and meet your physical needs. Apostle Paul suggested that anyone who used to steal before they got saved, should go get a job so they can earn a living to be able to serve others. Paul himself was a tentmaker. So, your job is how you earn your survival. Your work on the other hand is the God-intended medium by which you were planned to live fully and maximise your life. Your work is how you interact with your domain of impact and advance God’s Kingdom on earth. The purpose of your job is so you can earn. The purpose of your work is so you can live.

  1. EARNING OR LIVING: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?

I have established that there is a difference between your job and your work. Your job gives you a source of earning, your work gives you a source of living. Now, many people never get to decide which is more important to them. The society already configures us to run after earning rather than living. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Why do we eat if not to have strength to live and live well? Why should you earn at all if that would not help you sustain a meaningful existence? So, you see, you were planned to live fully not just survive. You were made for more. And in the final analysis, the more you were created for isn’t first a function of how much you earn but how well you live.

  1. FINDING THE MEETING POINT

I believe one of the keys to a fulfilling life is to find the meeting point between how you earn for survival and how you really live. One, your job may be flexible enough to accommodate your engagement with your life work. In this case, your job may serve as financier for your life assignment. This was the case for Apostle Paul. As a tentmaker, he was able to earn enough to sustain his missionary activities in addition to donations and contributions from other co-workers in the ministry. Two, your job may be an expression of your work. I am a lawyer. My legal practice puts food on my table. However, it does more than that. I believe God has called me to eradicate crime from our society by bringing the message of purpose into the criminal justice system of our society. Three, your work can become your job. There is a way you can monetize your work so that it does more than expressing your passions, it also becomes a source of income. The idea of course isn’t to make your pursuit of purpose about your making money, but as you do purpose, you create value people can pay for and as they do so, you earn.

I believe it is because most people do not understand the work-job dichotomy that they are stuck and unhappy in their jobs. That is why we have people who earn so much but are so unhappy. They feel stuck in between the need to make ends meet and live fulfilling lives. But this does not have to be the case. If you first of all believe that your life serves a purpose greater than what you earn, then you can find the courage to admit the meeting point. Before you leave your job in the pursuit of your dreams, you must be sure to make plans for your transition because you understand that you have to be alive to live. Whether or not you look forward to every Friday of the week really isn’t as important as whether you are truly deriving the satisfaction you were planned to derive from your life and whether, you are living in such a way that society can be overflowing in gratitude to God for your existence.

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section.

You matter to me always.

JustPurpose

WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU HERE FOR? (RECAP)

recap

For the past three weeks, three amazing individuals have graciously granted us access into their world of Purpose. Together, we have journeyed into the realms of their understanding about what is purpose is and how it may be discovered. I should thank you for your feedbacks and comments throughout this series on #WhatOnEarthAmIHereFor? I trust it has been worth your time and attention.

In the first week, Ayomide Fatoki shared with us the idea that purpose can only be found in God. She shared with us, the story of how she discovered her purpose by responding a gentle nudging of the Spirit to gather some ladies to pray. She hinted that our assignments may be similar in scope but different in dimensions. On how to discover purpose, she suggested that first, we should discover that which we love to do and then that singular thing for which we can deny ourselves sleep, and comfort. Second, she said we should pay attention to those who consciously and unconsciously influence our actions. Third, she said we should discover the set of people for whom our hearts burn, and the reason(s) for which our hearts burn for them.

Then, we had Noah Bello share with us the idea that everyone in history who has been called great had a very unique ability to focus on one thing as the major preoccupation of their lives. He opined that purpose is not the same as passion, neither do our gifts and abilities equal our callings. However, these things can be pointer to our purpose. Purpose discovery ought to be a by-product of our relationship with God who is our Creator. In his conclusion, he urged us make our relationship with God.

Lastly, Oluwatoyin Ajilore advanced the discussion by helping us to see the tragedy of purposeless living. She used the fearful image of a man who on his death-bed realizes he has spent his life in pursuit of nothing. Then, she went on to reflect on how she came to understand that purpose isn’t primarily about something a man must do or become but about glorifying God and demonstrating the manifold wisdom of God to all men. She said, we are here simply to show God’s glory, and that could be achieved through any path God has chosen for us. We can know what our paths are by simply walking with God on a daily basis. We cannot be complacent in our walk with God and expect to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

I have been tremendously blessed by the thoughts these very amazing individuals have shared in the course of this series. I believe you have too. I have learnt and gleaned a lot too. As I end this series, I want to share my gleanings and invite you to do the same.

  1. I learnt that the kind of people who influence and inspire me the most can be a pointer to why I am here.
  2. My purpose is too important to be left to guesswork. I must connect and stay connected with God since he is my manufacturer and the authorised source of my purpose.
  3. All that I do must be to glorify God. I am here to show forth God’s glory and manifest his manifold wisdom to the world. As I help people find their purpose and rid the society of Crime, God’s glory must be my intention and motivation.

These are my gleanings. I’ll like to read yours. What have you learnt from the thoughts our guests have shared with us? In what ways have you been blessed by this series? Please spare some time to share by leaving a comment below.

Next week, I’ll be here again to speak of the beauty of God in You. I hope to have you around.

You matter to me always.

I call you blessed.

PurposePursuit

Competent to Instruct 2

competence 2

I want to take the lesson we learnt last week further by sharing some thoughts on what I believe are the five elements of our competence to do purpose. If you have not read last week’s post yet, I suggest you read it first here. I am convinced that by considering the following principles, we can become assured of our ability to deliver God’s purpose for our lives and fulfill our mandate on this side of eternity.

1. Sympathy

This is a universal human ability to identify with others in their not-too-good times and to commiserate with them when they go through difficult times. I believe this is an ability we all need to be able to competently solve problems in our environment. We have to be able to understand what others are going through in our own unique way and be moved to help them.  We must learn to put others first and value above everything how people feel and perceive their own circumstances if we will move any close to helping them.

2. Empathy

This is a step higher than sympathy. It is our ability to literally wear the shoes of other people and feel their pain where it hurts the most. Unlike sympathy which is a natural human response to pain, empathy flows from the commonality of experience. While we all would feel sympathy for a rape victim, a person who has been raped would feel closer to a rape victim than any of us. This is the power of empathy. I believe God raises men to do purpose in areas they are most able to empathize and not merely sympathize with others.

3. Growth

Like we noted last week, our experiences are not enough to qualify us as competent instructors. It is important that we have grown out of those experiences. The fact that I have masturbated for many years does not make me a competent sex therapist if I still masturbate. It is only a person who is out of the water that can save a drowning man. No matter how good our intentions are, if we have not recovered from a problem, we are not fit to brand ourselves as “saviours” for others who still suffer from that problem. The stories of your struggles are not enough to liberate others without the testimonies of your victory.

4. Practical Wisdom

Most of us know one teacher who knows so much yet lacks the ability to transfer that knowledge to others. Such a teacher certainly knows what it feels like to be ignorant, he has also outgrown that ignorance by acquiring the requisite knowledge. However, his competence to instruct is defective if he cannot now help others conquer their ignorance. To be competent to instruct, it is important that you are able to turn both the stories of your struggles and the testimonies of your victory into practical wisdom that others can profit from and this will require knowledge, skill and training.

5. Calling

J.G. McConville once remarked and I agree with him, that often, we may have to accept that the work which we would dearly like to perform in terms of Christian service is not that for which we are best equipped and not that to which God has in fact called us. The truth is, your experiences are great pointers to why you are here. However, your purpose goes beyond your experiences. Thus, while you may be deeply sympathetic and even empathetic about a problem from which you have recovered yourself, it is disastrous to go ahead in the pursuit of that vocation without a sense of divine calling to drive your passion and solidify your competence.

Blessed? Please let me hear your thoughts.

You matter to me always.