What drives your life?

I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy! Ecclesiastes 4:4

The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder – a waif, a nothing, a no man – Thomas Carlyle

Everyone’s life is driven by something. Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct.” Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, or directing it at that moment. What is the driving force of your life?

Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life. Here are five of the most common ones:

Many people are driven by guilt: they spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, “you will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:12. That describes most people today – wandering through life without a purpose

We are products of our past, but we don’t want to be prisoners of it. God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader; and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero,and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life, too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start. The bible says, “what happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven!…what relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.” Psalm 32:1

Many people are driven by resentment and anger: they hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it unto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past

Listen: those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is past! Nothing will change it. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go

Many people are driven by fear: their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks, and trying to maintain the status quo

Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with weapons of faith and love. The bible says, “well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18

Many people are driven by materialism: their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions

Its also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important. Self-worth and net-worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things!

Many people are driven by the need for approval: they allow expectations of parents and spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approvals of unpleasing parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.

I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Jesus said, “no one can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24

A PURPOSE-driven life – a life guided, controlled, and directed by God’s purposes is what we should strive to have! Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them – not success, wealth, fame, or pleasure. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason.

Without purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless

Point to ponder:
Living on purpose is the path to peace

Verse to remember:
“You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Question to consider:
What would my family and friends say is the driving force of my life? What do I want to be?

Prayer points:
1. Lord help me to learn about my past, the mistakes I’ve made, and to put them away. Help me to receive the freshness that comes from being in your presence where old things are passed away and all things have become new

2. Open my eyes to see that material things will never bring me fulfillment but having a relationship with you

3. Teach me to always rely on you to make the right choices in life. Without you, I am nothing. Uphold me by your free spirit, challenge me into the things of God and help me to keep my head up looking to the hills from whence my help comes whenever I go through life’s issues In Jesus Name I pray!

Edited by: Ogunleye Gbemiga