In Pursuit of Purpose
On my iPhone I have 64 screenshots saved in my camera roll. These screenshots are there for a variety of reasons. Some are there because I found something funny or interesting that I want to share with someone later. Some are there because it’s something I want to remember. But most of the time it’s for returning too something for reference.
The screenshot in this article is a screenshot from the Spiritual Gift Test I took. The Spiritual Gifts Test is a test you can take that helps to point where your gifts for the church are. After taking the test you can submit your email to them so that they can email you your results. After taking the test, I took a screenshot of the email to quickly reference it in case I forget.
As you can see, the top three I received were exhortation, knowledge, and pastoring. Interestingly, the gift of teaching received the same score as pastoring. I took the Spiritual Gift Test because it was important for me to know what my spiritual gifts were and to focus on developing them further so that I can use my gifts fully.
I work for my mentor who happens to be a life coach and one of the things I’ve learned from working for him is the importance of focusing and finding your purpose. I think that when you know your gifts and talents it reveals something about your purpose in life and where God will use you. My mentor taught me that if you’re not focusing on the things that are aligned with your purpose you will be lost. He believes that it is everyone’s number one purpose to figure it out what their purpose is.
He teaches that one of the ways in finding your purpose will require your silence and reflection to identify who you are. For me, that also means understanding who I am in Christ and the implications for how I live going forward. That’s why it’s important for me to figure out what my gifts are so that I am pursuing my purpose.
Another thing my mentor taught me is the importance of asking people what you’re good at. You don’t just ask anyone though. You have to ask close friends and relatives what do they think you’re good at. It will give you an idea on what to focus on. When I asked my siblings they said that I was creative, friendly, a people person, knowledgeable, tech savvy, teachable, curious/inquisitive, a leader, and honest.
I took what I learned from asking them those questions, what I know about myself, and what I learned from taking the Spiritual Gifts Test then created a motto inspired by brand strategist Sheila Coates. Here it is:
I’m Emmanuel. I am a confident, spiritual, creative, loving, intellectual. My purpose is to be a follower of Christ, to be a creator, a lover of people, and a thought leader.
That’s the reminder I tell myself to regain focus. I take that focus and try to apply it wherever I go. I believe my purpose is a work in progress and is subject to change but for now that’s where I’m focused. We think that purpose is one grand thing but it’s not. Purpose goes with you wherever you go and is an integral part of who you are.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Pastor A.R. Bernard clarifies this further. He said:
“Purpose is not static. Purpose is dynamic. Purpose continues to be applied throughout your life…because what your gifts, your talents, and abilities that are given to you by God, that remains consistent throughout your life but how you apply that changes as you live life from one level to another and you go through stages of life.”
I’ve learned from my mentor and from my life’s journey that if you know your purpose you should be focused on that. Once you know your purpose on the planet the direction you need to take will become clear.