Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Victor Frankl said, "Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for."
He was referring to what I call "the crisis of purpose". I think that it's a huge part of the general malaise and apathy which can seep into so many people's minds these days.
One straightforward way to fight against this cultural landslide is to go out of our way to serve and help other people.
For three years, I've written a daily devotional called "Up!". As a part of that, I asked subscribers to reply to this question: "How has serving or helping others given you a stronger sense of purpose?" Here are a few of the responses:
- When I serve or help others, I realize that I am alive for a reason.
- The ways I help and pitch in are often things other people don't want to do. But that's what makes it important. It's behind-the-scenes. But it builds up the hospital and my church for God's glory.
- I try to make the day better for complete strangers. I go out of my way to offer help, buy them food, or just listen to someone who doesn't have anyone to talk to.
- I advocate for people who have been abused. They are God's children too, but often fly under the radar because they don't want to draw attention to their situation.
- I coach sports for the kids. Winning is nice, but it's really about building our young people into men and women of character, who will make our world a better place down the line.
The bottom line is this: Service gives purpose. Since God hasn't given up on the world, neither should we. So, when you go out of your way to serve and help others on a daily basis, it breathes greater purpose into your life.
Philippians 2:7 – [Christ Jesus] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)
God became flesh in Jesus, which is an incredible confirmation not only that God loves His world, but also that it has value and is worth redeeming and fighting for.
"Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for." But that's not you. Do you want your days to escape the general malaise and apathy of our time?
Service gives purpose.
Prayer: Lord, make us servants, walking in the footsteps of our Servant Saviour. Amen.