Discovering your personal vision

January 14, 2014

Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the best, will come to naught . . . Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. ― Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

In my last article on personal vision I said, “Our personal vision is the clearest description of our calling, what God has made us to do in this life.” The question we want to address in today is, “How do we discover our personal vision, or calling?”

It is important to remember that jobs and careers come and go. Your calling—your God-appointed mission in life—stays constant throughout your life because it is a reflection of who God has made you to be.

George Barna defines “vision” as “the clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God to his chosen servants based upon an accurate understanding of God, self, and circumstances.” Given this definition we can begin to see why it is so important for us to discover our calling, or personal vision. Discovering our personal vision will help us to:

Our calling is the expression of our personalities and our gifts in a unique, given direction. In seeking to discover our personal vision, we must realize that God created us with many particular characteristics, desires, and talents. Instead of embracing the world’s maxim, “You are what you do,” we are to understand God’s calling to say, “Do what you are.”

Here are five areas in which you can find clues that will help you discover you personal vision:

As you prayerfully consider these five areas, a picture of who God has made you to be will begin to emerge. This picture may be fuzzy at first, but it will begin to give you a foundation on which you can create a meaningful personal vision for your life. It’s also important to work through these five areas in community. Your friends, family, and church can help you see your personality, your strengths and gifts, and other aspects of yourself you might not see at first.

Our world is governed by God, and so is your life. You are the work of his hands. The only way your life will have true meaning is when you engage God’s world the way that he designed you to. Early in the Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf tells Frodo, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”

And so it is with each of us.


Five tools for thinking biblically about faith, work and economics

Why is personal vision important?

This article originally appeared on the website of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics.