As evangelists, it can be easy for us to define ourselves by what we do. We preach the gospel! We share the Good News! We travel the globe proclaiming the hope of Jesus Christ! But deeper than our identity as evangelists is our identity as children of God.

Jesus Christ alone tells us who we really are, why we’re here, and where we’re going.

Each of us wants more than just a nice life, a family, sound finances, secure retirement, and robust health. Deep inside we all seek spiritual purpose. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Eccles. 3:11), and we will wrestle with dissatisfaction and an unsettled spirit until we find and act on our God-given purpose.

Despite all the current hype about spiritual issues, however, our world doesn’t seem particularly good at divining purpose or meaning. It seems much better at activity—and the more furious and nonstop, the better.

While all of us need to know that we matter, sometimes we settle for a flurry of busyness.

We convince ourselves that if we’re always busy and in demand, we count for something. This busyness trap can be especially enticing for evangelists. After all, we’re busy with Kingdom work! And yet, while we inwardly crave a sense of purpose and destiny, we may end up settling for mere productivity and busyness.

Of course, I see nothing wrong with keeping a full schedule. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “We work hard with our own hands” (I Cor. 4:12), and he encouraged them to “always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (I Cor. 15:58).

God himself commends fruitful activity, so long as it serves a worthwhile purpose. When the apostle Paul learned that some of his friends were not busy, but instead took to idleness, he commanded them to pick up the pace and earn the bread they ate (2 Thes. 3:11).

The problem lies not in activity, but in mistaking it for significance.

Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean that we’re fulfilling some grand purpose. The trick is to get busy about the right things. God wants us to be busy about the right things.

God gave us the greatest gift when He gave us His Son. Through Jesus Christ we can learn what our purpose is here on earth. We can learn what it means to be busy about the right things as evangelists, the things that will last for eternity.

We cannot escape the busyness of this world, but we can try to understand how God uses it to show us why we exist. He gives us the clarity we need to fulfill our personal destiny when we follow His design. But our absolute meaning of self comes on the day we stand before our Father in heaven. He’ll welcome us into His kingdom with joy, not because we were busy but because we trusted Jesus with our salvation and allowed Him to drive our identity and purpose.  

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Luis Palau
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