Two Words for Purposeful Living

Sometimes it’s possible to summarize really important subjects in a simple, concise, and easy to remember form. At this point in my life (having entered my 70th decade) I’ve come to the conclusion that I can summarize what gives my life purpose with two words, and then summarize the purpose of life in one sentence using those two words.

The words? GLORY & GOOD. The sentence? The purpose of life is to live for the GLORY of God and the GOOD of people.

There’s a famous document that goes all the way back to the 1600s that explains the beliefs of the Christian faith called the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It’s done in a question and answer format. The very first question and answer are, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Our chief purpose is to glorify God? God is already all glorious, so how can I give Him more glory if He already has it all? I’ve come to understand that I give God glory when I respond appropriately to how amazing He is (how glorious He is). This means I’m more impressed with Him than with anything else, including myself. I also bring glory to Him by seeking to live my life to please Him, to live as He would want me to live. So, I’ve determined that the main purpose of my life is to live it for God’s glory.

Second, my purpose is to live so as to bring about good to those within my sphere of influence. I want to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. The temptation is to live for self. I’ve discovered, however, through both serious reading and study and from life experience, that to live in such a way is ultimately less satisfying than living for the good of others.

It’s been in just recent years that I’ve come to express the purpose of life in a sentence using the two words, GLORY and GOOD. And so I often affirm, reflect on, and repeat the sentence to others. Let me state it one more time; the purpose of life is to live for the GLORY of God and the GOOD of people. Yes, it’s as simple as that!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…” The inspired words of the Apostle Paul as found in two of his letters in the New Testament of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:31 & Galatians 56″10a

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