Clarity of Purpose

This article is coming from a secular perspective, but many of the insights are compatible with the Gospel.

Pentecost gave the disciples clear goals and purpose.  We see the same spirit in the Sermon on the Mount.  All effective Christians — the heroes and the unsung — have this quality.  The Gospel has the power to set our priorities very straight and clear if we will let it, and save us from rambling or wasting our energies.

In Philippians 3:13 Paul said, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  What made Paul effective was that little word “one.”

The great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote a whole book on the subject, Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing.

One of the greatest impediments–I think I can say, THE greatest in these days of social media addiction–is slavery to the approval of others.  Others do not reward singleness of purpose, until after you have made yourself into a huge success.  Then its OK.  But along the way the crowd will do nothing but condemn you for leaving the path of conformity and mediocrity.

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Before you can achieve your biggest dreams, you need to sharpen your mind first.

This means defining your goal and purpose.  Lots of young people waste four years of college (or graduate school) because they entered without a clear sense of purpose.  Many adults drudge away in jobs they hate because they are unconnected to any goal or purpose bigger than the paycheck.

So much good stuff in this article.  I hope you will read it, and think about how it applies to your work life, your discipleship, and the life of St Peter’s.

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