When We Get Purpose Wrong
"But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up!He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive." Acts 9:40-41
The GET UP Book turns 3! Let’s proclaim it’s the book’s Holy Spirit Year. You can claim the same! In some Christian circles people love God, are questioning Jesus and downright don’t mention or engage the Spirit. Here’s a way to start - super short daily devotionals help you delve deeper into the story of Tabitha so that your passion, bravery, resurrection and relationship with the Holy Spirit are revealed and deepened.
February is my birthday month and the month to celebrate the GET UP book’s third year in print. So, this month’s theme is purpose. To me, purpose is about meaningful and fulfilling service to others on behalf of God. Often we collapse it into other words such as passion, calling, noble goal. Purpose, however, is getting a bad rap these days. It has become overly commercialized. If we’re not careful, we search for purpose for our own gain rather than to be in service to others.
Here are a few mistakes we can make related to purpose:
1. We search for purpose.
I don’t think so. I believe it’s inside everyone. There, innately, and taking shape as we take shape. This is why I believe purpose is unearthed, not searched for out there somewhere. But in us. However life and its drama and trauma can cover it up making it hard to access. In this way we’re all in need of resurrection.
2. Purpose is singular and narrow
I allude to this in #1. However in my own life I see purpose evolving and taking shape as I, too, am formed and shaped. This is a changed perspective. I once believed that purpose was ONE THING and my goal was to find if and if I didn't then I was somehow missing the mark (sin). I’ve spent quite a bit of time in shame and guilt not living out what I thought was my purpose.
3. Purpose alone is THE answer.
Identifying purpose is one thing, but living it out - that takes brave and consistent action. Partnered with the power of the Holy Spirit, we live and work out our purpose. Not in a works’ righteous kind of way rather in generosity of service to others. (Next week, I’ll be sharing about purpose as a calling and I’ll unpack these ideas more).
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these views. What’s been true for you?
I invite you to check out the GET UP book to continue your journey of living on purpose. This month in honor of the third birthday of the book, I’m taking $3 off the book for you. So it’s $11.99. People have read the book as a personal devotion as well as in a small group with others. To help with that, there is the GET UP Facilitator Guide. It’s full of exercises and activities that bring a group closer together while learning and growing. You can get your copies at www.charitygoodwin.com
© Charity Goodwin, 2023.
If you found this article helpful, and you’d like to say thanks, click here to buy Charity Goodwin a coffee.