Last week’s rejection of my latest book proposal brought disappointment (thank you to those who sent words of encouragement!) but it also forced me to ask and answer some tough questions about my purpose as a writer/speaker within the Christian publishing industry. Thanks to the objective advice of a well-respected literary agent, I feel as though God is redefining my focus. Time will tell if my sense is correct.
I also feel as though God has reaffirmed my calling as a writer/speaker. He’s done that in the past through emails from readers whose lives are being impacted, but this time He did it through His Word. Colossians 1:28,29;2:2,3 describe my purpose beautifully. Here’s a personalized version of the apostle Paul’s words:
“So I tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given me. I want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me…I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Whether through writing magazine articles or books, my purpose within the Christian publishing industry is to encourage believers in their relationship with Jesus Christ. My desire is to see them excited about friendship with Christ and about delving into His Word. I want to equip them to explore the depths and focus of their faith. And so, I pick myself up, dust myself off and look for new ways to fulfill that purpose. This experience has been a good exercise for me. I believe it will help me hit the target rather than waste time and energy shooting aimless arrows.
As I think about purpose, I believe that a believer’s ultimate purpose is to glorify God and bring Him pleasure. That’s a general statement no matter what our role or occupation. But it’s good to have a more specific purpose statement to keep us focused and intentional about what we do. That helps keep us on task and ensures that we invest energy, time and resources where we ought.
You might be a stay-at-home mom, an administrative assistant, a nurse, teacher or lawyer. You might be a pastor’s wife or missionary, a hair stylist or a caterer. No matter what you do, God has a purpose for you in that place. Have you thought about what that might be? If so, we’d love to hear what your purpose statement is.