The current pandemic has seen more than just the loss of life and livelihood. For many people it feels like the loss of identity and purpose too.
Who are we if we aren’t actively involved in this, that or the other? What purpose do we serve if we no longer have a job? Of what value are we if we can’t finish school? If you’ve wrapped your identity, worth and purpose up in your profession, education or friends, this time of isolation may feel like a stripping away of what makes you, you.
But this is a reversal of purpose and means–a perversion of the origin of our worth. What do I mean by this? The first question in the West Minister Shorter Catechism holds the answer:
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Man’s chief end—our purpose is to glorify God (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 10:31; Is 60:21). This is an immutable fact. We are created beings whose purpose, worth and identity can only be found in worshipping God and glorifying Him in all that we do. What does change is the means by which we glorify God.
Before a woman is married, she glorifies God in her abstinence. Maybe she works a 9-5 job and attends classes at a local university, all for the glory of God. After a woman is married, she glorifies God by submitting to her husband, caring for her children, and taking care of the home.
The believer’s purpose remains the same both now and in eternity where we will glorify and enjoy God forever, but the means by which we fulfill this purpose here on earth can and will change.
Sadly, more believers find their worth in the means—comparing it to other’s and feeling superior or inferior as a result. But in Christianity, the means by which we glorify God is always a tool and never a destination.
When we put purpose and means in their proper place, we realize our purpose has nothing to do with us at all. What wonderful freedom! Freedom from the burden of trying to find our value in our insufficient selves and looking instead to the all sufficient One–the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3).
So, fellow believer, whatever your means during this strange time in our world’s history, do it for the glory of God, do it without complaint, do it knowing that your smallest act of obedience, your smallest act of faith glorifies and honors Him.
If you would know yourself, seek your God. Know your God, and you will know yourself. Live to His glory and you will be living fully to your own potential. Live for His glory and He will lift up your head.Rachel Jankovic, excerpt from “You Who?” 85
Until next time, salutations and selah.
Suggested reading: You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal With It by Rachel Jankovic