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"What's Your Bag?"

In 1970, my brother, Jimmy, returned from fighting in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne. I was only eleven and he was already my hero. One day, as we were talking, he smiled and asked me the strangest question,

“What’s your bag?”

"What?” I replied.

He repeated his question, “What’s your bag?”

I knew he was having fun with his little brother because he knew I did not have a clue about what he was asking me—I did not even have a “bag” (and if I did, what would I put in it? My toys?).

It was five years since James Brown's, “Papas Got a Brand-New Bag,” but I had never heard of him.

He went on to ask, “What’s your thing…what are you all about?”

At eleven, I still didn’t know how to answer him. After all, I didn’t do a whole lot besides going to school and playing with my friends.

Then he said, “Your ‘bag,’ your ‘thing,’ it is what you are all about; it’s your focus, it’s what you do.” I was beginning to understand and knew he was enjoying some good-natured fun with his little brother.

Now, many years later, I still remember his question.

I remember it not only because it’s lingo from the '60s and funny, but because I see how important it is in life to have the right “main thing.”

So, stepping out of the era of Woodstock, Soul Train, and Vietnam and back to today, let me ask you?

  • What is your main thing?

  • What are you all about?

  • Better yet, what do you live to do?

Most folks I know work hard and pour their lives out in their jobs. We know we should do our best and strive for excellence in whatever we do. It is easy to say our “main thing” is our job when we invest so many hours working.

But is it your main thing? Is your job all you are about?

A good work ethic is honorable. God intends that we be productive, and we all should have a sense of pride when we can support ourselves and our families through our work. Few things give us satisfaction and peace of mind as much as putting in a hard days' work and knowing we've done a good job.

Yet, we are more than our job titles and what we do to earn a living.

To find out what we are all about, we need to ask ourselves,

“Why do I do what I do?”

This question hits closer to home. It goes to motive.

In his workbook, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt said, “My wife often reminds me, 'People lose their way when they lose their why.'”

People lose their way when they lose their why.

Hyatt continues, “One of the most important aspects of achieving the goals you set is to get deeply connected with your motivations.”[1]

Telling others what we do is easy. Explaining why we do it takes a little more thought, but it is worth it.

Understanding our motivation gets to the heart of who we are.

What is your “Why?” Why do you do what you do?

  • Personal satisfaction of working

  • Providing for yourself and your family

  • The pride of a job well done

  • To outperform and earn more money

It is good to work for the satisfaction we get. Taking care of our family is respectable. We should have a sense of pride in doing good work. And if we do not turn money into an idol—even working to earn more money may be a worthy motivation.

But is there more? Could there be an even greater motivation for all the effort and time we invest in our work?

I believe there is.

Nothing in life is more satisfying and there is no motive that is grander than doing what we do for the glory of God. This is the only thing that will leave an impact on this world long after we are gone. It is what we were born to do--glorify God.

It is what we were born to do--Glorify God.

Wait! Before you blow that off and say, “That’s just religious talk” or “I’m a church member, I’ve heard all that before!” Please pause and think about what this really means.

Glorifying God is far more than religious talk.

When I think of “religious talk,” I think of people speaking “Christianese” or church talk. Maybe we could say it is “shop talk for church members.” When it comes to “religious talk,” there are a lot of spiritual terms thrown around but at times they don’t seem to have much impact on the lives of those who use them.

A life lived to the glory of God will have a greater impact than the life of the greatest athlete, statesman, military hero, scientist, religious leader, and physician—combined—if that life were lived for a lessor purpose!

There is no greater honor than to bring glory to the One True God Who created us and Who will reign forever!

At the end of our lives, no amount of fame, fortune, or power will mean as much as having lived for the glory of God and then hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant (Mt. 25:21)!”

Glorifying God is the highest and most rewarding achievement any of us could ever strive to reach, yet it is within the reach of everyone!

Suppose your family does not appreciate you, your boss is ungrateful and critical, no one outside of your circle of friends knows who you are, and no one knows the good that you do, your life can still echo into eternity if you live to bring glory to God!

Glorifying God—We were born for this!

Again, glorifying God is not just:

  • “Religious talk.”

  • Something reserved only for pastors and missionaries.

Glorifying God is:

  • It is something that everyday people like you and I can experience.

  • It is what makes life worth living.

So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

Follow along with me in the weeks ahead as I explore this topic. You will find that when glorifying God becomes our main thing—our purpose—in all we do, it is the key to a life of fulfillment and purpose.

I am always glad to read your comments and receive your questions. If you desire to know God and live a life of meaning and purpose, turn your volume up and watch this video about "Three Circles."

For the glory of God, I am

[1] Michael Hyatt, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, (Michael Hyatt & Company: 2017) Lesson 4, p. 1 (Available at

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