Choices… Are They Driven By Purpose or Popularity?

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We all have choices that we make every single day. Like, do I want my coffee black or with cream and sugar today? Do I want the Pumpkin Spice Latte or the Peppermint Mocha? Should I wear a black shirt or a pink shirt? Should I eat a granola bar or a bowl of Coco Puffs? What happens if the choices you make go against what’s popular? Therein lies the one thing we must identify: the purpose of those choices.

What is the purpose of your morning coffee? Is it to enjoy a hot cup of authentic coffee, or is it to have a sugary, sweet entity to start your day off in the right mood? What is the purpose of eating a granola bar over a bowl of Coco Puffs? I want to take a step towards being healthy in the new year or health isn’t that big of a deal to me? You see, the choices we make are always packaged with purpose, and once we know that purpose, it is so much easier to “choose”.

As a college student, there are tons of decisions I have to make. Do I hang out with my friends or study in the library? Do I stay in bed and rest when I’m sick or should I try to go to class? It’s one of those things where Mom isn’t here to tell me what to do all the time. Lately, I have had an even bigger decision to make. I have had several opportunities come up for summer internships and experiences. They are all amazing opportunities that I want to take part in, but I have to question what the purpose behind doing them is in order to fully gain the perspective I need to make the best decision possible.

Now, you might think, “Purpose… that sounds easy enough”. However, let me be the first to tell you that it is one of the hardest things to figure out in life. For example, why do we wake up thinking that we “need” to have coffee each day? What is coffee’s purpose in our lives? For many it may be the caffeine that you gain from it. But if you’re anything like me, you just follow the popular thing to do. I mean really, how popular is it to go to Starbucks and hold one of their drinks? It’s an “image” that we try to fit in with. Think about it, do you really need coffee to get your day started? Will you die without it?

Church, this is more than just about our daily lives, this is about our faith too. When we come to know Christ and develop a relationship with Him, we are called to a new standard of holiness (1 Peter 1). We are called to stand out among the crowd. It’s where our purpose goes from earthly-minded to Kingdom-minded. We have to make choices that reflect who Jesus is and what He’s about, because that is who we are called to be like.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to quit your job on the nursing field, as a businessman, or teacher to join full time ministry to show the world who Jesus is. At Painesville Assembly of God we truly believe that “Where You Are” is the mission field God has called you to shine His light in. Not all of us are called to ministry as a vocation, but we are all called to make sharing Christ a way of life. For example, that one time you were in the Drive-Thru at Wendy’s and maybe you didn’t get exactly what you ordered, or the cashier wasn’t the nicest to you and you may have made a bad choice in how you treated the employee (maybe with disrespect and anger?). Or that time when your neighbors were being so loud that you just could not sleep so you called and gave them a piece of your mind about why they need to be quiet so that you can have your beauty sleep.

These are the choices that we have to make on a daily basis, but are we making them and including Jesus in our choices? Is it Christ-like of me to ask to speak to the manager because there were tomatoes on my salad when I strictly asked for none? If done with humility and gentleness, go for it! You never know what kind of day the waiter or waitress is having. See it is as an opportunity to reflect Christ. See HIS purpose. Does it reflect the love of Christ when I call my neighbors yelling and complaining about how loud they are? No, but if approached with humility, a conversation in trying to bring understanding can make all the difference in the world. Remember, a soft answer turns away wrath. It’s all in how we approach life. It’s a Christ-like approach. Church, we are called to a new standard, a new way of living, a holy life. Our purpose is no longer bound to this earth to please other people, or even ourselves, rather it is to do one thing and one thing only, serve God and fulfill His purpose.

Pastor Aaron shares about two different types of purpose and how they play into our lives. Check out this week’s podcast from our new series: “I Choose” http://painesvilleag.com/i-choose to learn the difference between “Purpose (BIG P)” and “purpose (little p)”. Remember Church, our purpose is rooted in Christ and we are called to reflect that in the choices we make each and every day!

Jenny Bushnell,
College Student, Blogger, Writer

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