Your Why

[Jesus] said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
Luke 4:33

“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

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Jenny’s Story

I’ve been looking for something. It isn’t really something I lost but something I neverlonely really had. I don’t want to go into the details, but I grew up in a typical family. Nothing really out of the ordinary. But after I moved out onto my own, I found I really needed “completeness.” Its hard to put into words, actually. There was something missing in my life. Maybe you know, or have known, what I mean. Some people call it a longing, a search for meaning, whatever. All I know is that I’ve been looking for it for a long time.

After a while – I don’t know when, really – I began thinking of it in terms of what I want instead of what I need. Maybe I never actually thought of it as a need. At any rate, I’ve searched for something to fill the want. I’ve searched in places I’m not proud to admit. Love, drugs, drink. I’ve searched in all those places for what I wanted – without really knowing exactly what it was I did want. At first I did find what I wanted in them. They filled me with something I didn’t have as a little girl. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t into hardcore stuff. Drugs were never really my thing. I wasn’t a falling-down drunk, and I only had slept with those I really loved. Pretty average stuff, really.

But after a while, I realized that nothing really satisfied me. I wasn’t really getting what I wanted. I still couldn’t put my finger on what it was, exactly, but these things didn’t get it for me.

It was about this time I started to really learn about Jesus. Now before you tune me out, hear me out. I’m not one of those who tell their story of strife and woe and then I found Jesus and he made me all better and my life is full of joy all the time! I don’t knock those who have experienced it like that, but it isn’t my story.

One of my friends took me to church with her one Sunday. The pastor talked about the hope that can fill a person’s life – a hope only Jesus can give. There was no flash from heaven, no fire in my belly from a massive conversion experience. But this hope from Jesus intrigued me. I went back the next week and he talked about it again. I kept going, rarely missing. What I was hearing was comforting. I heard about faith and hope and love. I heard that Jesus died and rose from the dead for me. That all my sins were forgiven. That all my longings would be satisfied in Jesus. The pastor didn’t present this as if it was some one-time, instantaneous solution, either. Jesus’ hope and peace and grace were life-long gifts. I realized that this was what I wanted. I was searching in all the wrong places. I was searching for the wrong things. It wasn’t about what I wanted but rather what I needed. Somehow Jesus knew and He gave it to me.

Is everything perfect now? It sure would be great to tell you it is, but it isn’t. Life is better, though. I have a satisfying relationship with Jesus and brothers and sisters in the faith at my church. Jesus makes the difference because He took my sins away. And He continues to take my sins away as He fills my need. My life isn’t perfect (really, what is in this world?) but it is more fulfilling with Jesus as the center of it.