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Purpose-driving to nowhere

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The top-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life” contains a lot of wisdom and has changed many lives. Type A people like me love the title. “What’s the point of following Jesus if you never do anything with you faith?” we ask. It’s a fair question. But it must be balanced against Rich Mullins’ que…
By Seth Barnes

The top-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life” contains a lot of wisdom and has changed many lives. Type A people like me love the title. “What’s the point of following Jesus if you never do anything with you faith?” we ask. It’s a fair question. But it must be balanced against Rich Mullins’ question, “Did you love somebody?” Because that’s the whole point of our purpose-driven lives.

We Americans are by nature more purpose-driven than almost any culture. Europeans take an average of something like five weeks vacation a year. We always seem to be in a hurry to go somewhere. We are task-conscious.
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By contrast, most other cultures (Japanese and German cultures are obvious exceptions) are more relational. Purpose and identity are often defined by relationships. We need to see how culturally circumscribed we are.

A task-orientation that ignores relationships is as bankrupt as a navel-gazing, existentially focused life. Both exist at either end of a continuum and reinforce the old dictum: balance is good.

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