Melvyn Tan
October 23, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Is Your Life’s Purpose To Please Others Or Yourself?

[blockquote source=”2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV)“]In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do […]

[blockquote source=”2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV)“]In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.[/blockquote]

Everyone of us has a purpose in life.  Whether you choose to believe that you have a purpose in life is inconsequential.  The truth is you do have a purpose in life.

For some people, their lives’ purpose is to please others.  Each and every single day, they strive to seek the approval of others.  From a young age, they may aspire to become a [insert occupation], in order to make their folks proud.  Later on in their lives, their work may be centred around meeting the needs of others.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with pleasing others and meeting the needs of others.  However, if you allow others to dictate what you should do then you’d be at best an opportunist and at worse someone who creates mediocre work.  Further, unless you are able to synchronise with the change in people’s needs, you risk being left behind.  You risk carrying the baby when the music stops.

For others, their lives’ purpose is to please themselves.  Doesn’t matter what others think, nor requiring the approval of others, they chose to only please themselves.  They seem to be the ones that are ahead of their time.  They are the trailblazers.  And sometimes, their ego get the better of them and ignore the very advice that would save them.  They may create great work but no one pays attention to, no one wants it, and no one needs it.  They sometimes even chastise others for not appreciating their work.  At some point, they might even think that the world has conspired against them.  They will, in the end, feel unloved, unwanted, and unrecognised.  Again, they will be unhappy.

As you read the types of purposeful people at each end of the spectrum, I believe you are thinking to yourself that you fall somewhere in between.  While there is an element of “me-centricity”, there is also that component of “others-centricity”.  Your purpose may be to use your talent that will create benefit for others.  It may be in teaching, in speaking, in writing, in acting, in swimming, in baseball, in soccer, in music.  While it is something that you are gifted with, it is also something that will would add value to the lives of others.

Now, what if your purpose is not merely adding benefits to the lives of others, but is able to move them out of their comfort zone to do what is necessary for them to fulfil their own purposes?

Amazon is a great example.  Their platform not only brings about great benefits to their users, it also opens up a whole new possibilities of distribution for self-published authors!  Wordpress is another example.  Their platform not only gives ordinary individuals like myself a megaphone to broadcast my message, it provides an avenue for everyday folks to turn their passion into an entrepreneurial dream!

Application: What is your purpose?  How can your purpose be used in a special way that not only benefit others but also inspire and stretch them?

Father, I thank You for blessing each of us with a purpose.  I pray that we will continually cleanse ourselves so that we can become instruments for special purposes to do Your will.  In Jesus name, Amen.