Reformed theologian and head of the popular website DesiringGod.com John Piper has recently offered up his answer to the timeless question of life’s purpose.
In an episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John” that was posted to DesiringGod.com on Monday, a listener named Tyler asked the question of “why.”
“… what is the overarching concept for my life, my reason for existence, and relationship with God?” Tyler inquired. “I know if I better understood this, I could dive into the details and perform them more effectively and joyfully within the larger context.”
Piper responded by saying that the big purpose for his life and the lives of others was to “live to make Christ look magnificent.”
“Almost everything I’ve done in the last fifty years has been a working out of what it means that God created the universe for his glory. The greatness of being human is to join him in that eternal purpose,” said Piper.
“Everything else finds its ground and its significance in God’s purpose to create and do all acts of providence and all acts of redemption for his glory.”
Piper explained to Tyler that if he keeps “in view this great overarching purpose,” then he can “be able to dive into the painful and happy particulars of your life.”
“This doesn’t answer all the detailed questions of ethics in our lives, but it does give direction for how to pray, and how to meditate, and how to pursue God’s wisdom in the world in our daily life,” Piper continued.
“This is the great unifying vision of human life, and may the Lord make it clear to you and free you from any sins of wasting your life.”
Piper’s podcast on the topic of purpose comes about a month after a study found an ideological gap in the sense of purpose in life among Americans.
David Newman of the University of Southern California recently authored a study which found that conservatives have greater meaning in their lives when compared to liberals.
These findings were based on over 19,000 responses to a European Values Survey, nearly 1,600 responses to a Baylor Institute of Religion Survey, over 1,200 responses to a study focused on happiness, purpose in life and stress, an online survey they themselves conducted with more than 3,300 responses, and a daily diary study involving 141 students.
“A question that still needs to be addressed is why conservatives find more meaning in life than liberals,” explained Newman in an interview with PsyPost last month.
“Our results showed that it can’t be completely explained by the fact that conservatives are more religious than liberals and religious people find more meaning in life than non-religious people.”