Significance: The Search for Meaning and Purpose
- What do you think is a man's greatest need? His need to be
- The difference in men is how we go about satisfying our need to be
A Man's Highest Hope
- If you were a really great man, what would be the most you might
expect from history?
- A man's ultimate desire is for immortality. We want something to
- How we decide to answer the two questions, "Who am I?" and "Why do
I exist?" is a choice between two time lines: one that's eighty years
long and one that lasts forever.
Inappropriate Ways of Finding Significance
Consider some common ways the world defines significance.
If you think a person can find lasting significance through the pursuit
of fame, possessions, or power, play the game of tens.
- Fame: A Few Short Memories. When we try to answer the question,
"Who am I?" in terms of fame and worldly accomplishment, we select an
identity that quickly fades.
- Possessions: Unsatisfied Eyes. We all use possessions to send
signals that we are significant. The most fleeting significance comes
- Power: What's His Name Again? Men who achieve significant
positions of responsibility and authority in life run the great risk of
identifying themselves personally with the position.
Or try another version.
- Name the ten wealthiest men in the world.
- Name the ten most admired men in America.
- Name the ten top corporate executives in America.
- Name the last ten Nobel Prize winners
- Name the last ten presidents of the United States
- Name your ten best friends
- Name ten family members who love you
- Name the ten most memorable experiences of your life
- Name ten people you think will attend your funeral
The Self Gratification/Significance Distinction
- Significance is not possible unless what we do contributes to the
welfare of others.
- If I make helping others my practice, a state of significance
- The difference between self-gratification and significance is
found in the motive and attitude, not in the task.
- Accumulating wealth, power, influence, and prestige are self-
gratifying, but will not satisfy a man's need to be significant in any
Being a Doer
- "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do
what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it
says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking
at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." James
- In your search for significance, have you sought a purpose for
your life by studying the Scriptures?
Today Europe is a post-Christian continent. Why? What would have
happened in Europe if, in each generation after the Reformation, there
had been a handful of faithful men who had Luther's courage to be doers
of the word?
If you are not experiencing the full measure of significance you desire,
answer the following questions.
- Am I trying to win the rat race?
- Am I pursuing significance or self-gratification?
- Am I disillusioned with materialism?
- Have I been looking for significance in inappropriate ways?
- Am I a talker or a doer.
- Am I searching Scripture regularly to discover God's purpose for
- Am I a cultural or a Biblical Christian?
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