Yesterday I wrote about the purpose of life and shared how I personally construct it. I think if we all have a clearly defined purpose for life it can serve as a guide and director for us. But simply knowing what we believe to be the purpose of life might not be enough, there is action required. We can discuss the need to change things all we want, but if we never discuss how to change things, and never actually change anything, then it’s all pointless. I give you the example of our current governmental state of affairs in the U.S. We talk a lot about what needs to change, but then we never do it. In some cases I’m glad that the agendas are not carried out, so I’m not complaining about that, but in general, the point I’m trying to make, is that all talk and no walk leaves everyone frustrated and stagnant. Let’s not become stagnant.
Once again I am speaking from my own construct for the purpose of life. It may or may not be the same as yours, or even similar to it, but hopefully you can practice the principles, even if the doctrine is different. To sum up, the doctrine of my construct of the purpose of life is for each person to learn and grown through education and experience with the ultimate goal of becoming more like our Heavenly Father, who is God. Not to become him, but to become like him, in the same manner I can become like my dad on Earth. I believe it is the purpose of life to realize our divine potential. As a solid mark for us to attain to we have Jesus Christ as the exemplar. Even if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God, the Redeemer and the Messiah, you would be in good company to look at his example as a man and learn from him. But that is of course up to you. I don’t think you have to align with Christianity to learn from Jesus Christ’s example, that’s all I’m saying.
If the purpose of life is to become more like God, then we look to Jesus Christ to find out what things we should be doing in order to achieve that purpose. What are some of the attributes of Christ that we can follow? He embodies pure love. He is merciful and forgiving. He is just. He is true. He serves others and is humble. He is meek. He is obedient. With just this short list we can find things to change in our own lives that will help us realize our purpose in life.
Charity is defined as the pure love of Christ. Charity is not simply the act of donating physical goods or money or even time to help other people, although these are expressions of charity. Charity is a way to be that involves pure love for other people, seeing them as God sees them. To develop charity as a characteristic we need to break down cultural barriers that interfere with our ability to love all people. One of the quickest ways to do this is to serve others. To do kind things for them.
Cultural barriers can sometimes prevent us from being merciful, but if we want to fulfill our purpose in life we must be merciful and forgiving. Humans seek to be part of the in-group and struggle against the out-group. It would be better for us if we held only one group and all were included. Rather than focus on points of difference which often lead to contention, we need to be merciful, recognizing we all have weakness, and forgiving, recognizing we all have given offense. If we can view each other as brothers and sisters on a grand scale and recognize the similarities we all share it should be easier to offer mercy and forgiveness.
In wood working, craftsmen seek the board that is true. A true board is one that is straight, even, and without variation. You know you can trust what you build when the materials are true. For us to be true it implies we are honest and transparent, without hypocrisy. When we are true our actions are justified, that is, we are in compliance with all law. Jesus Christ is honest and just, there is no wavering or falsity in him. We can achieve these characteristics by being honest in all things, living without deception of self or others.
Meekness is sometimes thought of as being weak, but meekness is actually strong. To be meek is to be quietly and humbly strong. There is no selfish pride or self-aggrandizement in meekness. Meekness comes from humility, which comes from dismissing egocentric views. When we forget about our own interests and seek to provide benefit for others first we are acting in humility, which leads to meekness and quiet strength. Service to others is the way to enhance these characteristics. Selfless service.
Jesus Christ is obedient to the law and he loves the law giver. He has more respect for the law giver, God the Father, than he does for the law. Do we have more respect for the law or the law giver? This is a big question. I will likely do another post on it in the near future. Obedience is submissive, which isn’t a bad thing. Obedience demands confidence and love, or in other words, those who are obedient exude confidence and love.
Defining my construct for the purpose of life gives me direction and clarity. I find peace in uncertainty knowing that there is a purpose. I know how to behave in any situation because I know what I want to become. I don’t always do it, and I am sometimes slow to find the peace, but the awareness is there as I work through my life. Knowing why I’m alive and what I should accomplish keeps me on task and motivated.