Determining your personal purpose in living and giving

Since 2013, I have considered it my privilege to give the “purpose talk” at Women Doing Well events, encouraging and assuring thousands of women that they, indeed, have a unique purpose designed by their Creator.

By Mary Tomlinson

This has given me great joy – especially when I see the beginnings of life transformation as women embrace this Biblical truth:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart for special work.

– Jeremiah 1:5

On a deeper, more personal level, working individually with Women Doing Well retreat facilitators and others to refine their two-word purpose statements – and inviting God to join us on each call – is always an amazing experience.

I find we all have many things in common. We…

  1. Feel conflicted with all the balls we must juggle each day in our varying roles
  2. Can often lose ourselves in the midst of taking care of others
  3. Desire to wake up each morning with clarity and focus
  4. Long to reflect peace and joy in every interaction

I love the quote – “We lose our way, when we lose our why.” Purpose is our why … not our what, where, or how. Our work around purpose is to determine how we uniquely would finish the statement: To the glory of God, I exist to serve by (two words).

If you’re a woman wanting to develop your purpose statement, consider these questions:

  1. What has always been true about you?
  2. What have been your life-defining moments?
  3. What are some on-purpose moments in your life?
  4. What do you most want for others?

To refine your purpose statement

  1. Pray and ask God to make it clear to you
  2. Look up your words in a dictionary and thesaurus – both synonyms and antonyms
  3. Ask those who know you well what they see in you and what you do for them

On-purpose giving

When we tap into our unique purpose – our giving of time, talent, and treasure becomes a “get-to-give” not a “have-to-give” or worse yet a “should-give.”

A “get-to-give” has joy and life for both you and the receiver of your gift, because it naturally lines up with your purpose and God’s purposes in the world.

When you think of giving opportunities, filter them through your purpose statement. You will find that some giving opportunities may be more on purpose for you than others.

Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of an on-purpose person. He knew and was resolute about living and giving in his purpose whether people understood or misunderstood him or loved or hated him. We know he had to suffer for his purpose – which at times, we may also be called to do.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

– Hebrews 12:1-2

I believe when you are living in your purpose you are maximizing your life impact for the glory of God. Think of it as the joy of being in the divine flow.

Let us seek God for his unique design on our lives, so we can live and give on purpose.

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