Is man a biological accident? Is the human race just another stage of evolution that is purposeless? Am I just a meaningless being in the universe? Is there a plan to life? Any significance? Where did I even come from? For heaven’s sake, why am I here?
An intelligent person who is old enough and capable of thinking will find himself asking these questions at a point. If you believe God created you, then the question, “Why am I here?” is in essence, “Why did God make me?” The answer to that question can be presented in two ways. An answer can be presented either looking at the question from God’s perspective or from ours.
From God’s perspective, the answer is, “God made us to show forth his goodness.” That answer may not be clear, hence, some explanation may be necessary.
God is a perfect Being, an infinitely perfect Being. The reason an infinitely perfect Being does something, does anything, must be an infinitely perfect reason. Now, there is only one infinitely perfect reason for doing anything, and that is to do it for an infinitely perfect Being – God. Hence, it will be contrary to his infinite perfection, it would be unworthy of God to do something for a reason less than himself.
If I do something noble for another person, like giving him food when he has none, I do something imperfect when I do it just for that person without referring it to God in any way. What I did is surely not a bad thing, but it is something less perfect. That would be true if I did something for my sister, my mother, or even an angel, and left God out of it. For us humans, the highest and the best reason for doing anything is to do it for God. There is no higher motive for doing anything than to do it for God. That is not just true for the things we do, it is also true for the things that God does as well.
This brings us to the first reason God made the universe and us – to give glory to himself, by showing forth his infinite power and goodness. How is his infinite power shown? By all that exists including us. How is his infinite goodness shown? By the fact that it is his will to share his own infinite love and happiness with us. Thinking like humans, it seems egotistical for God to create things just for his own glory and honour but that would be us thinking of God as a creature like ourselves. If we had the mind of God, it would be clear that there just is not anyone else or anything that is more deserving of God’s thought and God’s love than is God himself.
When we say that God made the universe and us for his own greater glory, we do not mean that God needed any of it. This glory that is given to God by the works of his creation is something outside of God. We may call it “external glory.” It does not add anything to God. If a talented artist paints beautiful images on a canvass for people to admire, the admiration of the people does not add anything to the artist himself. The artist is still who he is. People’s admiration of his work does not make him a better artist.
We come back to our question, “Why did God make us?” The first answer, looking at it from God’s perspective is, “God made us to show forth his goodness.” As human beings, we feel that a person’s goodness is shown in the generosity with which that person shares himself and his possessions with others. It is something similar with God’s goodness shown in the fact that he made us with spiritual and immortal souls capable of sharing his own happiness. This leads us to answering the same question, “Why did God make us?” from our own perspective. And the answer is, “To share with us his everlasting happiness in heaven.”
The two answers from God and human perspectives are like the two sides of the same coin. It is God’s goodness that makes him to share his happiness with us, and it is God’s sharing his happiness with us that shows forth his goodness.