Section 3: Humanity
Week 1: God Created Us for His Glory
Day 3: God Created Us with a Purpose
1 Cor. 10:23-31
At some point or another, we’ve all found ourselves doing something we thought was pointless. Whether it’s sitting through a boring algebra class in high school (you’re never going to use this stuff, right?), going to a job you hate (you’re not making a real difference in the world, are you?), or trying to hold your marriage together (it’s never going to get any better, is it?), somewhere along the line we all wonder, “What’s the point?”
That feeling of pointlessness eventually takes its toll, and we either give the thing up entirely or find ourselves just going through the motions. Some actually see all of life that way. William Samson wrote an interesting short story called The Long Sheet. It takes place in a futuristic prison where the prisoners are told to wring out a wet sheet that stretches through all the prison cells. The prisoners are told to wring the sheet until it is bone dry. If they succeed, they will be set free. The difficult task of wringing every drop of moisture out of the sheet is made even harder by the fact that the prisoners must work in a damp steamy environment.
For the longest time, no one is able to completely wring out their portion of the sheet, but one prisoner finally succeeds. His portion of the sheet is absolutely devoid of any moisture. The prisoner is thrilled at the prospect of freedom, but the guards just dump some more water on the sheet, and the process begins again.
The point of the story is there is no point. We like to think life has meaning and there is some overarching goal we are working towards. But that is just an illusion. Life is dreary existence, nothing more. There is no grand purpose beyond that. No matter what we do, we never truly accomplish anything. Looking at life that way takes a toll. If nothing you do matters, why get out of bed in the morning?
Thankfully, we don’t have to view life that way. The Bible says we do have a purpose, and our lives, therefore, do have meaning. What is that purpose? We were created to glorify God (Isa. 43:7, Eph. 1:11-12, 1 Cor. 10:31).
When we truly grasp what that means, it transforms everything in our lives because everything becomes an opportunity to fulfill our purpose. Our job becomes an opportunity to use the gifts and skills God has given us. Financial difficulties become an opportunity to demonstrate our trust in God. Even something as small as sitting on the couch watching TV becomes an opportunity to thank God for his provision of rest.
Everything we do in some way provides us with an opportunity to glorify God. That means nothing we do in life is truly pointless because everything we do has meaning. The only question is whether we’re going to make the most of those opportunities.
What appears to you to be the most pointless activity in your life at this moment? Despite your feelings, how could God use it for his glory?
However you answered the question, commit to looking at that “pointless” activity as an opportunity to glorify God. Journal about your experiences with that activity over the next week.
Want to Dig Deeper?
The Bible teaches that, when God created humanity, he started with Adam and Eve. However, an increasing number of scholars today argue the scientific evidence suggests the human race couldn’t have sprung from just one human pair. This has prompted some Christians to ask whether we should interpret the account of Adam and Eve’s creation figuratively. As you might expect, there are many within the Church who are strongly opposed to that sort of interpretation. They insist Adam and Eve were real historical people. We take a closer look at this issue in the first topic in the Digging Deeper section titled “Should We Believe Adam and Eve Really Existed?”