Should a believer in Jesus Christ have a purpose-driven life?

The simple, one-word answer:


The pushback I usually receive when I make this assertion is, “Well, that’s not true. God does have a purpose for your life. Your life does have purpose.”

Well, ok. And what would that purpose be? I can almost guarantee that those who advocate such things will not quote verses like these:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10–12). 1

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24–25).

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Timothy 2:3–4).

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12–13).

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16–17).

“When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21–22).

No, instead we are told that the Christian’s purpose is to be successful and fulfilled in ministry or business; in life.

No death. No suffering.

So, a quick question with an obvious answer: What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to the earth?

To die.

What is your purpose on this earth?

To suffer with Him. To be persecuted and thus blessed. To die, to lay down your life for Him and for others.

There. I guess you’re right. God does have a purpose for your life.

1All Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Thanks to Ben Williams for the photo.