Why is Purpose Important?

John Bracks Collins St 5pm
John Bracks, ‘Collins St., 5pm’, (1955) National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

Purpose is essential to life as it gives meaning and direction to the thoughts of the mind and the actions of the body. The purpose of the mind and the body is to learn and grow stronger. The mind and the body strengthen themselves by acting virtuously.

To learn, to strengthen, and to seek virtue, is to walk the straight path.

Only virtuous thought and action strengthen the mind and the body. Virtuous action takes many forms. It may differ at different times and in different places, but its outcome is always the same. It benefits oneself and others.

Virtuous action is to create a new thing or to teach a new skill. It is to break an addiction or to lift another who falls. It is to defend the truth. It is to follow one’s conscience and to say ‘no’ when ‘no’ must be said. It is to love.

Virtue feeds the soul. It quenches the soul’s thirst.

Only virtuous thought and action can help the mind and the body to fulfil their purpose. But sometimes the mind and the body can lose their way. They can be distracted. They can lose sight of right and wrong, of what is most important to them.

Beware confusing right and wrong. Beware distraction for distraction hinders the fulfilment of purpose.


God demands more from us than just working and consuming. Money is not purpose. Work is not purpose. Consumption is not purpose. God created us to walk the straight path.

The Straight Path: A Religious Guide to Finding and Fulfilling One’s Purpose, p. 4.

We yearn for more than just jewels and cars. Money is not purpose, nor is work, nor is consumption. The rich show us this. See the rich woman who, despite having wealth, is still unhappy because she has not found meaning. Only when she begins to use her wealth to benefit others does she begin to gain a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Only when she uses her wealth to strengthen others, without any thought of a reward in return, does she achieve happiness.

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