Is Our Life Purpose to Serve Others?
“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
–Romans 14:7-8 (ESV)
Helping others is not in of itself a bad thing yet if that is all a Christian lives for then Biblically speaking there is an error in this ideology. The first and most immediate issue with this ideology is that if it were true then until Eve was created Adam had no purpose. This would mean that Adam being commanded to name the animals was a purposeless task that God gave him. If our life purpose as humans is to serve other people, then where is the need for God?
The Core Problem with this Theology
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asking him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment of the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets”
–Matthew 22:34-40 (ESV)
Is man more valuable than God? According to Christ, no. At one point I challenged someone on the ideology. The passage they used to try to defend the ideology was the second half of this passage. However, they ignored the context and the part where Christ says the greatest commandment is to love God. The sad thing is if this passage is read within context it defeats the ideology they were trying to defend.
Not what is being taught here
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
–Romans 13:10 (ESV)
There are going to be some who read this and think I’m teaching an anti-service ideology. That is not what I am trying to say. What I am trying to say is that if our life purpose is to serve other people, then atheist charity organizations are fulfilling their life purpose more than the God-fearing, God-loving Christians. Christ says “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Our Life Purpose is in the Bible
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way towards him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
–Acts 17:26-27 (ESV)
Rather than seeking our life purpose in man-made books and modern non-biblical life-stories why don’t we look in the Bible? In the passage above Paul defends the faith to the Areopagus. He makes the statement that all men are created to seek God. Revelation 4:11 (ESV) says that all things are created for the will of God. It’s very straightforward.
Everyone has the same life purpose, seek the Lord. Live for God and Christ. We serve others out of humility and by commandment of Christ. Ultimately if we don’t love and serve God what makes us different than the pagans? At the same time if we don’t love each other how are we serving God?
“For am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
–Galatians 1:10 (ESV)