Purpose–Compost or Character?

I remember a tense chat I had with my youngest daughter, who at about five years old became angry over some comment I made during dinner. She stalked off, planting herself on the couch with an ugly scowl. I walked over and began to speak to her softly, apologizing for the offense I’d caused, but she stolidly refused to forgive me. I began to speak of God’s forgiveness, reminding her that Jesus had prayed, “Father forgive them.”

“Do you think God forgave them?” I asked.

“Yes!” she scowled.

“Do you think God forgives me?”


Kimmy knew her Bible.

“Then why don’t you forgive me?” I asked.

She leaned toward me, her blue eyes in spiteful slits, and hissed, “I’m not God!”
Kids say what they think; we learn to pretend. Pretensions stripped away, we’d echo Kimmy: “I’m not God, so I’m not going to act like Him.” But if we fully embraced God’s purpose for us, we’d sing a different tune. You see, God wasn’t just playing Creator when He made us. He was bringing forth an ingenious solution to a problem of cosmic proportions.

It all began when Lucifer led many of heaven’s angels in a devastating insurgency. War in heaven of all places! Although undefeated in a sense, the conflict left God with a gnawing problem; his reputation was tarnished through Lucifer’s libels. The smoke of battle still hung in heaven’s air when God purposed to make an order of being so much like Him that His own image would beam out of them like Powerpoint. “And God made man in his own image, male and female created He them,” Genesis 1:27.

Probe that “image” concept further, and one sees that God created us to be like Him in character. Character goes beyond behavior. In fact, “thoughts and feelings combined make up moral character” (RH, April 21, 1885). God created us to have an inner life like His own inner life; becoming like Him in character means thinking God’s thoughts and feeling the way God feels. Only then can behaviors consistently demonstrate His loving goodness.
So here we are. The great controversy between good and evil swirls around us, and rarely do we stop to consider the drama behind the veil of temporal life. But we were brought forth for bigger, better and more significant things that to grow up, work, eat, sleep, get married, have sex (hopefully in that order), and then have children who grow up, eat, sleep, get married, etc. all culminating in the slow decline of age, until life itself seeps out of us and our bodies are left to crumble before the onslaught of millions of mindless microorganisms whose sole purpose is to turn us into compost.

What purpose drives you—that of the composting crew or that of the benevolent Sovereign of metagalactic space? He calls you to bear His image, to become so much like Him that He can point to you and say, “Look at her and You’ll see Me.” Align your will to His, make His purpose your own. That’s my advice to you today.
Someone is asking, “But how??” I recommend the book Steps to Christ as primer on how to walk with God. Then you may want my “God’s Plan Purpose Statement” worksheet to help identify your particular calling and ministry. Email me and I’ll send it along.

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