Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning in theirs.”
A friend recently gave me a copy of a book which I had heard about for years but had never gotten around to reading. My loss. I wish I had read it many years ago. The title is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. Frankl was a Jewish Austrian medical doctor with a double PhD in psychiatry and neurology. During World War II he was taken captive by the Nazis and spent almost four years in concentration camps. Miraculously, he survived and went on to live a long and productive life in the academic world. He died in 1997 at the age of 92.
While in the camps, Frankl used his considerable intellectual skills to study human behavior under the worst of possible conditions. He sought to understand what forces could move one human being to be so unspeakably cruel to another, but also, the factors that enabled some prisoners to not only endure and survive their experiences, but to actually grow stronger psychologically and to emerge victorious despite the horror of it all.
What Frankl discovered was that those who were able to endure, survive, and emerge victorious, were those individuals who had a clear reason to go on living. They had a purpose for the present and a hope for the future. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche explained it this way, “He who has a “why” to live for can bear almost any “how.”
When a person has a clear sense of purpose for the present, along with a compelling hope for the future, they have a powerful motivating force for victorious living. For Frankl his purpose during his time in the camps was to gain a thorough understanding of those truths, and then to apply them by helping his fellow prisoners get through that experience. And then, his hope for the future was to spend the rest of his life writing, teaching, and counseling others how to persevere through their own hard times. Frankl survived the camps, and he went on to spend the next sixty years fulfilling his dream. The meaning of his life became to help others find the meaning in theirs.
Nobody has a clearer purpose for life or a brighter hope for their future than a Christian. You have already fully embraced the love of God; you have the Holy Spirit living in your heart; you have the fruit of the Spirit to enjoy and to share; and you have a glorious eternity in heaven awaiting you.
As a Christian you should seek to know God well, and to thoroughly enjoy your relationship with Him. Then, you are to share Him with others. That’s why God still has you here on earth. That’s your purpose. Regardless of what you do for a living, and regardless of any other activities you engage in as you live your regular life, your fundamental purpose in life right now is to fully enjoy your relationship with God and to share Him with others.
Any Christian who truly understands his or her call and destiny will never suffer from a lack of purpose or a hope for the future. Others need to know what you know and they need to have what you have. The meaning of your life is to help others discover the meaning of theirs.