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Why We Do What We Do?


Issue 091

Do you know why you are here? Do you know why you are doing your job? Companies seem to be working very hard to decide why they’re here. Mission statements adorn the company marketing materials and sometimes even employees  can remember them.

So, why are you here? Do you have a sense of purpose and direction in your work? Do you have an overall mission statement which you can write or quote which describes your life in general, and your work in particular? I would suggest to you that it would certainly help in your job satisfaction, not to mention your working practices. Of course, it may even encourage you to seek a different job,

Sometimes the last person to realise why you’re doingwhat you’re doing is yourself. It takes someone to look from the outside in to open your eyes to the meaning. Hundreds of years before Christ, Esther became queen in Persia. It was a dangerous time and a wrong word could get you into big trouble –  not that dissimilar to  a few workplaces! God had gifted Esther with intelligence and beauty. However politically incorrect it may sound, both of those gifts contributed to the status that she now had. God will use the gifts that you have to position you where you need to be. False modesty or arrogant pride will only cloud your vision if you’re trying to see why you are where you are. For Esther, she wasn’t just there to make the harem a more friendly place; neither was she there merely to raise the standards of cuisine in the royal court. Her main function was not to create a more pleasant atmosphere in the palace. All of those things she undoubtedly did and they were valid and they were important but they were not the main reason she was there. Her cousin Mordecai looked from the outside in and showed Esther why she had the job thatshe had. She was there to perform a dangerous mission; it would put her life in jeopardy, but it was the reason why she was there.

The core purpose for Esther at that particular point in time was to be a spokesperson for God’s people in trouble. Mordecai told her that she had come to royal position for just such a time. His insight came with a warning: that if she doesn’t fulfil her mission, someone else would, but she would miss out.

I don’t need to tell you the whole story but we do need to be reminded of the point: surely we should be constantly asking why we are where we are; we should be seeking reasons; we should be taking advice from others and listening to their wisdom. The reason why you’re doing what you’re doing now may not be the same reason as it was two years ago. The reason why you went to that particular job may have changed and it might be right for you now to move on. On the other hand it might be that you’re there for a particular purpose now and you must stay however unpleasant or dangerous it may be. Sometimes it’s not clear what the whole mission is, but merely some part of it. For Esther, she was to play her part in rescuing God’s people but little did she know that she was also protecting the lineage of the Son of God himself. So it will be with you. You may catch a glimpse of the short-term purposes but God will also have bigger-picture plans which he wants to work out through you.

Everything we know about God reveals that he does not place his people in irrelevant positions. If you have a sense of purposelessness or irrelevance in your work then start to seek meaning or seek a move.

If you’re one Christian amongst many who are not, that’s a privilege even though it’s isolating. If you are in a senior position with thousands of people answerable to you, you are answerable to God for thousands of people – what mission plans do you have to reach them with the Gospel? It’s no good to plead that it’s not your job to reach them. You are called to royal position for such a time as this. God has not placed you there merely to create good working conditions, vital though that may be.

One final warning: whatever meaning you do find, it must be God-centred. It’s not sinful to want to be successful and it’s not wrong to want to make a lot of money. It’s not inappropriate to be ambitious or adventurous. But all of these things must find their ultimate purpose in serving God’s purposes. All of us have been called to a royal position but that doesn’t make us rulers, we’re still servants of the king.


Esther 4:13-14

13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

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Series: -
Module: 7
Season: -
Daily Guide: Yes

Tags: mission, moment, perspe, purpose, relevant, risk, salvation, servant

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Geoff Shattock

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