“So, what is it you do?”
That’s a typical greeting between two people who just met. Especially among men.
Upon meeting at a dinner, a party, or some such, guys typically shake hands and ask about what they do, what their job is, things like that.
A typical answer is, “I fix cars,” or “I write computer programs,” or “I deliver packages.”
Another answer to this question is to tell someone not so much what they do but who they are.
“I’m a mechanic.”
“I’m a software engineer.”
“I’m a UPS driver.”
These are not wrong answers, but they are incomplete.
What you do and how you do it are very important aspects of your life.
But they tend to be unfulfilling. This is the reason so many people end up working in so many different kinds of jobs or at different companies.
The job can be important. And it can fulfill a desire, in a way.
But unless you know why you are doing what or how you do it, you will be hard pressed to find true fulfilment and joy in your work and life.
Imagine if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had started Apple Computer by telling people this is what they did:
“We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. What to buy one?” (quoted from the book Start With Why, ©2009 Simon Sinek, p 40)
You wouldn’t be reading this on your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook Pro right now if this is how Jobs and Wozniak started Apple.
There’s nothing factually wrong with that, but it isn’t their answer to “So, what do you do?”
Their answer – Apple Computer Company’s answer – is more along these lines:
“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. What to buy one?” (ibid p 41)
The answer has been “yes” for over four decades! Apple sold over 200 million iPhones in 2016 alone!
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Apple Computer know why they exist (or existed, in the case of the late Steve Jobs).
Knowing your why is crucially important. Another way of saying that is that you know your purpose.
Jesus Christ knew his why.
Jesus’ why was to “preach the good news of the kingdom of God.”
Jesus knew his why and that shaped everything he did and how he did it.
He lived perfectly, loved people, approached the unapproachable, healed the sick, the blind, the lame. He raised several people from the dead. He went against social and religious norms by “eating with sinners.”
His why shaped how he would ultimately save us – by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.
That is the “good news” (Gospel) of the kingdom of God.
And before Jesus ascended into heaven with the promise that he would come back to take believers in him to paradise forever, he gave his followers (his Church) their why.
Proclaim the Gospel. Live the Gospel.
Our why (if you are a Christian) is to “make disciples of all nations by telling and living the love of Jesus.”
How you do this is by making use of the Means of Grace (God’s Word, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper).
What this looks like will be different for each of you, since God has gifted us differently. For me, it is through preaching, teaching, writing devotions, and producing blogs, vlogs and podcasts (your what is probably different).
The what will be different. The how is important.
But the why is where it all starts – just as it did for Jesus.
©2017 True Men Ministries