Your reason for living should help other people


Every single person needs a reason for living. The sooner you figure out what yours is, the more satisfying your life will be.

When we're young, it feels as if having fun is all we need. In fact, many people never graduate from that shallow motivation. They think life is one big party, where everything is like a TV commercial for Coca-Cola.

While there is a lot of happiness in hanging out with your friends, to make that your top priority is not very fulfilling. One thing you don't want to do when you're old is sit in your recliner and realize, "Wow. I wish I had done more worthwhile things."

But what is worthwhile? What is a valid reason for living?

Ideas but not imitation

"Success" is different for every person. That's why we can learn the qualities that put a person at the top of their field then apply those traits to our own quest. We can observe that perseverance, patience, and the desire to keep learning are relevant to any undertaking.

Just because you devote a lot of time to a certain endeavor and become skilled at it doesn't necessarily mean it's good, though. After all, does society need another "successful" criminal?


We all know friends or relatives who love their job. They can't wait to get to work in the morning and they live for the thrill it gives them. But what if that's not you? What if you find your work limiting, even frustrating?

Then you find your reason for living elsewhere. Some people love to travel. They live from one vacation to the next. Others collect things. Millions follow sports teams fanatically. Some hunt or fish or play golf. Some dance or play a musical instrument.

Those are all great pastimes. They relieve stress and make life more enjoyable. Make sure the thing you chase is something that brings you personal satisfaction. Don't feel you have to imitate someone else.

Here's something else important: You may have to try several different activities before you find the one that's right for you. I had a friend who loved to collect stamps. I could understand the appeal of it to him, but when he tried to get me into it, I found it just wasn't for me. Don't feel pressured to find your joy in someone else's favorite thing.

Make your reason for living sensible


Let's face it: Some activities might be too expensive. The thing that drives you, the activity that really trips your trigger shouldn't turn into a financial hardship. If it pushes you into debt, it's an unhealthy obsession.

Many singles never learn to live within their means. They try to keep up with wealthier friends or relatives. As we say around here, "They have champagne tastes but a beer pocketbook."

If your reason for living is to impress others, you need to ask yourself "Why?" It's a juggling act you can't keep up for long. If it involves costly status symbols, that's believing the false promise of materialism. Instead, know this:

Stuff can't make you worthwhile. Only God's love can do that.

And there are other considerations. Your pursuit should not be destructive. We have a lot of legalized gambling in Illinois, USA, where I live. People get addicted. They live to gamble, but long term, it's a losing proposition. The odds always favor the house, not the gambler.

From liquor sales I've seen, some people apparently live to get plastered every weekend. Some look forward to getting high on drugs. Those are both pathetic interests, yet millions are doing that, including Christians.

Are highly risky or dangerous hobbies legitimate? As single people, most of us do not have a family depending on us, but if your thrills come from "near misses," that's another warning flag.

If you are a Christian, you know what destructive acts are. Sin can be pleasurable, but the consequences can ruin you.

The laser-focus of a God-centered life

I get excited about Jesus. How about you? If you're a Christian, I hope your heart's on fire to do something worthwhile for the Lord.

Let's be clear: We don't do good deeds to earn our way into heaven. We do them to give glory to God. That is the best reason for living.

I think it's impossible to do good deeds with a totally selfless attitude. We're all hampered by a sinful nature that will influence us until we cross over. We can't worry about having perfectly pure motives. We need to serve others regardless and let God judge our actions.

Once again, it's not a contest to "out-holy" someone else. We all have limitations. We do what we can without feeling guilty over what we can't do.


There's a verse in the book of Acts about this that has been puzzling Bible scholars for centuries. The apostle Paul says:

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, β€˜It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35, ESV)

No where in the gospels does Jesus say that. We do know, however, that Paul says he got the gospel not from men but directly from the Holy Spirit. No one exemplified a life of giving better than the Lord Jesus.

When you give in a spirit of love, the fulfillment you get back is amazing. It is, as Jesus said, "blessed."

The supreme reason for living is to serve God. Most of us can't do that as our full time occupation, but we can serve God by serving people. Look for opportunities and you will find them. To receive the approval of God, to make him smile, that's a reason for living.

Return to top of reason for living.