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What Is the Purpose of My Life on Earth?

Paul is a retired American expat living in Thailand. Besides being an English teacher and translator, Paul likes languages and most sports.

What Is the Purpose of My Life on Earth?

The Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington D.C.

The Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington D.C.

Although I attended Catholic schools through the eighth grade as a boy, I never gave deep thought to the real purpose of my life. Like most people, I thought it was necessary to go to college and prepare for a profession. In my case, it was studying to become a doctor.

After not getting into medical school and becoming a doctor, I served my country in the Navy for almost four years and then taught English in Taiwan. While teaching English in Taiwan, I got married to a Taiwanese and started to raise a family.

Returning to the United States after a six-year stay in Taiwan, I secured employment with the federal government and then ten years later went through a divorce.

Not until my third wife and reaching the age of 75 did I finally realize the real purpose of my life. Up until this time, it had not been achieving success and getting rich. Sexual gratification, marriage, and raising a family also had not been the real purpose of my life.

The real purpose of my life as I have recently discovered is to love and worship the Lord my God as creator and savior. It also is to love one another as I love myself.

In this article, after explaining why we need a purpose for living, I reflect on the common purposes of life which I have experienced. Having found my real purpose in life, I explain how we prepare for the afterlife by accepting and worshiping God as our creator and savior and by loving one another as we love ourselves.

Why We Need a Purpose in Life

Life without a purpose is meaningless. We would be like a boat without a rudder aimlessly drifting in the world while we spend our time on earth. The daily routine of satisfying our basic needs of eating, drinking, and sleeping would be devoid of any hope or thing to look forward to.

What Are the Common Purposes in Life

The most common purposes in life include achieving career success, getting rich, satisfying sexual desire, and getting married and raising a family. A few people devote their lives to God by becoming priests, monks, or nuns.

As a child, most people are asked what they want to be when they grow up. When I was young, popular responses included doctor, engineer, teacher, and nurse. High school graduates would then study in college for these careers to be successful.

Many consider getting a lot of money and being rich the primary purpose in life. Some achieve this by becoming businesspersons and investing wisely. Others attempt to do it by gambling, stealing, or other dishonest ways.

Satisfying sexual drive and desire lead some men to become playboys for most of their lives and avoid permanent long-term commitment and relationship with a partner. Many times, women are regarded as trophies and merely sexual objects.

Other people, traditionally, will get married and have children. Their purpose in life is to raise a family with moral values.

Finally, a few people devote their lives to God. They do this by going into a seminary, convent, or doing missionary work.

What Is The Real Purpose of My Life?

We are all born with both a body and a soul.

Having a soul or an inner spirit is what makes us different from other animals. With a soul, we can think and communicate by speaking and writing. Our souls also express feelings and emotions of happiness, sorrow, hate, love, anger, and compassion. The conscience in our souls also lets us know what is right and wrong.

Every human being has a soul because we are all created in the image of God who expressed His spirit or soul in His son Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago.

At death, the soul leaves the body which will eventually decompose. The soul, however, will live on for eternity. For this reason, it is necessary to prepare your soul for life after death while you are still living on earth.

How Do We Prepare Our Souls for Life After Death?

In preparing our souls for life after death, we must have faith in a supreme creator. Without this faith, death would be the end of both our body and soul.

I believe that I was created by a supreme omnipotent God who manifested Himself in Jesus Christ while on earth for 33 years. This God is also present in a spirit that resides in every person. We truly are created in the image of God. This faith was instilled in me by attending Catholic schools for eight years and by studying the Bible.

With faith in God as my creator and savior, I can prepare my soul for life after death.

I can have faith that my soul will live with God for eternity by following his two great commandments which are as follow:

1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Mark 12: 28-34

Loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind means that I will love, worship, and have no God but Jesus. Money, success, or any other kind of idol will never be loved and worshiped. All of these can not take the place of God the Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Loving my neighbor as myself means that I will love all people. Jesus illustrates this love with the story of the good Samaritan who shows mercy to his injured neighbor.

My love for God and all people can also be expressed by holding the moral values of love, compassion, understanding, generosity, honesty, patience, justice, peace-making, and assisting all in need.

By following the two great commandments on earth our reward for eternity in heaven will be great. This is our purpose of life on earth.


© 2019 Paul Richard Kuehn

Comments

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 18, 2019:

Thanks for the reference to the new book Manatita. I must check it out. I appreciate your comments, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2019:

I just read about the new book: Manatita, The Lantern Carrier: An Esoteric Journey to Spiritual Philosophy by Ioannis Arvanitis who is a fellow HubPage writer. It is good to ponder our place in life with regard to what comes after it. We are spiritual beings and our life extends beyond our earthly existence. I truly believe that if more people gave thought to it, the world would be a better and a more peaceful place.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 17, 2019:

Thank you for commenting. You couldn't have said it better.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 17, 2019:

Thank you very much for commenting and your use of scripture from the Bible.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 17, 2019:

If more people followed the two great commandments and prayed to God, the world would be a better place. Thanks for your comments and following.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 17, 2019:

Thank you very much, Pamela. I am happy you liked this article.

RoadMonkey on August 17, 2019:

Getting older, we seem to move into another level of learning, as the preoccupations of everyday living drop away or become less pressing.

RTalloni on August 16, 2019:

Holding to the moral values you've noted is a tall order. By using God's Word as our guide we can have a good beginning at balancing and prioritizing them in our daily lives, and really, moment by moment. Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

We have nothing God has not given us through Jesus, from the genuine repentance leading to saving faith to our ability to do good works. Romans 3 helps us see that the righteousness of God is manifested apart from the law and we are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption found in Jesus the Christ.

Galatians 2 is a wonderful passage (with a lot to pray and think about) bringing us to the point that "a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ...justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified...for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."

We are called to good works for the purpose of displaying to other people that God has effected change in our hearts and minds thereby giving us new life in Jesus the Christ. Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith (Galatians 3:2). Romans 3 ends with a heartwarming question for believers, "Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law." We do good works according to God's Word to show His grace to others.

Abraham is an example of a man who, though He was justified by great faith that he displayed many times over it is obvious that not all of his works displayed faith in God to others. Like all believers, he was in a process of growth that humbled him and strengthened his faith. James 2's discussion of Abraham's faith continues to help us today, for "faith apart from works is dead."

The concept of how a person can do good works, even strive to do them, apart from faith, thinking that the works are doing a saving work for them presents questions that are helpful in examining whether my own "good works" flow from saving faith or from any thinking that makes me think I can stand before God based on my good works.

Calling our good works "filthy rags" seems contradictory to being "called to good works", but I am glad it helps me examine my motivation(s) in doing them. I find it crucial to remind my "self" that in spite of my hopeless state, through God's grace I was given faith in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.

In seeing how obedience to God's Word is inextricably paired with saving faith, seeing my works for what they are apart from Him, I joyfully understand what it means to only boast in the redeeming work of the Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (Colossians 1). How much we have to be thankful for in God's Word to us!

A B Williams from Central Florida on August 16, 2019:

I wholehearted agree Paul.

When each of us, individually, begin to reflect on something much grander than us...to understand why we are here and what our purpose is, we will begin to see great change from one end of this earth to the other.

Horrible things, horrible events continue to happen and the only words people can come up with are, God help us or our thoughts and prayers are with you or please God make it stop...and then, with time, we push God back out of sight and out of mind.

The bible teaches us to pray incessantly, not intermittently, not occasionally, when we are at a loss as to any other option.

Great article, giving you a follow.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 16, 2019:

I think having no other Gods before us is important, as some people use money or some may put themselves above others. There are many ways to stray away from your purpose in life. This is a well-written thought-provoking article.