Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
The Declaration of Independence states that we have been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This has led many Americans to, without realizing it, believe their chief end is to pursue happiness.
This is true, but only in the sense that we realize true happiness comes from understanding who we are in Christ. As Asaph wrote in Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”
The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins by saying the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. That might sound confusing, but if we understand that concept then we will understand how to truly live.
The chief end of man—or the reason we exist—is to glorify God. Revelation 4:11 says all things were created for God’s pleasure, and that includes the human race. God chose to make mankind to please Himself; therefore, we exist to please and glorify God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 encourages believers to do all that they do in order to glorify God: “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
A recent poll showed that being a lumberjack is the worst job in America, but whether you are a lumberjack or a lawyer, do your work for the glory of God. It is not the type of work we do, but the way we do it that pleases God. Whatever we find ourselves doing, we please God when we give it our best.
How much truer is this concept when it applies to our spiritual lives? When we pray, read our Bibles, and seek God with our whole hearts, He is pleased.
God enjoys us when we live our lives for Him, and we can enjoy Him forever when we reflect on what He has done for us. With God as our adopted Father we can enjoy His presence both on earth and in heaven.