I was recently asked by a young mother if her daughter, who’s 6 years old, should go into modeling. This little girl is such a beautiful bubbly soul, who’s extremely charismatic and enjoys taking pictures, dancing and playing dress up. Well, I asked the mother, why did she want her daughter to go into modeling, and she responded how most people would, by saying “It’s good money in modeling!” She also said that it was something her daughter really wanted to do.
This got me to thinking about how some people decide to go into a particular career field without thinking about the “why”. It could be that you chose that field because it’s fun, enjoyable, fulfilling or even because it could potentially pay you a lot of money. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think you should definitely choose a career path that represents something you enjoy doing, but I don’t think that should be the extent of your reason for choosing such a career.
Let’s take the entertainment industry, for example. I am a professional drummer and singer, and I also write and produce songs. In this particular industry, there is a lot of fun to be had, and money to be made. But the music industry itself has a purpose. Its purpose is to make you as successful as it possibly can through making other people happy, and by persuading those people to spend more of their money to fulfill that happiness. The entertainment industry, then, continues to thrive and produce more and more “artists” who get caught in this unassuming trap of fulfilling the needs of the consumer. What ends up happening, mostly, is the artists become slaves to the industry, simply because the industry itself gave them their purpose.
I got caught in that trap, and became a very successful drummer who literally was defined by my success. The only desires I had for becoming a successful drummer, though, were to make a good living and to take care of my wife and kids. I also used touring as an excuse to make good money, but it was ultimately a selfish way to get out of life’s responsibilities and go have some fun. By not knowing or even considering my purpose, I ended up getting into a lot of trouble that almost cost me my marriage and my family.
You see, pleasure can be deceiving because of how it makes you feel. When you do something that brings you pleasure, your mind and body respond through the release of a chemical from your brain to your nervous system, called dopamine. Because of this chemical, you can become highly addicted to pleasure. And we all know that when you’re addicted to pleasure, you run the risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography/sex, gambling, shopping, food, work, social media, and a host of other things.
“Well,” you may ask, “how do I not become addicted to pleasure?” I’m glad you asked… You do it by having “Purpose”. I want to recommend a scripture in the Bible that will help you with your purpose. Psalm 16:11 says: “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand”.
I love this verse, because not only does it testify of Jesus, it tells us that our purpose is revealed by spending intimate time with God. That time spent with God can be through prayer, and reading and meditating on scriptures in the Bible. What’s also beautiful about this intimate time, is not only does God tell us our purpose, but He gives us pleasure in that purpose! This is exciting news because if these pleasures are from God, they have to be GOOD PLEASURES, right? And if they’re good Godly pleasures, they won’t come back to bite you in the butt!
Through my own personal time spent with God, I learned that being a musician wasn’t just my occupation, nor was it just something I did that brought me pleasure. I found that God wanted to use music as a platform for me to tell people how much He loved them, and how good He really is! When you realize how much the God of the universe loves you, and how much He wants to live inside of you so other people can experience Him, it would be, for you, and everyone that encounters you “good news that brings great joy”. (Luke 2:10-11) And let me just say, I’ll take joy over pleasure any day. My joy never ends because Jesus gave it to me, and He’s consistent. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) He’s ALWAYS GOOD. However, my pleasures are only as consistent as the thing that’s giving me pleasure. They are circumstantial and inconsistent, at best. So if I put my trust in my pleasures, they then become my god… And a very unreliable one.
I will leave you now, with God’s ultimate message on finding your purpose.
Romans 12:1-2 says: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Please, don’t allow pleasure to give you your purpose. Seek God, and His purpose for your life, first, and everything else will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)