Sunday, September 12, 2021

Knowing the Why

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

“Why are you here?”

The question penetrated my mind as none other had for quite some time. I could tell by the expressions on the faces of the other teachers that it piqued their interest as well. 

We sat in our first In-Service meeting before the beginning of what we hoped would constitute a normal year after a year of constant change brought by our friend COVID. But this year would prove different than any others—including the one we had just come through. 

The question came from our Upper School principal, just after he had shown us a video clip, detailing one man’s opinion of how success in learning, in business, and in life happens. The speaker called it the Golden Circle. He drew three interlocking circles and wrote the words “Why,” “How,” and “What” in them, beginning from the inner and proceeding to the outer. His conclusion? People will learn and buy based on our “Why,” not our “How” or “What.”

Suddenly, we understood the question our Upper School principal posed. If we didn’t know the “Why,” our customers—students and parents—wouldn’t care about the how or the what. And what did he want our why to be? The same thing Paul wanted Titus’ why to be. The same thing he wanted all church leaders’ why’s to be: to know God’s message and to share it with others. 

“He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching” (Titus 1:9 NLT).

Later that evening, our Head of School paraded every teacher before our new students and their parents. He had instructed us to share three things: who we were, how long we had taught at the school, and—most importantly—why we were there. 

The reason our Head of School hoped we worked there was that God had called us, because we wanted to see our students know Christ, and because we wanted to show them how to let their walk with God influence every decision they made. We needed to make an impact, just as Paul wanted all church leaders to do. 

To a degree, impact just happens, somewhat like influence. But for the impact to constitute what God desires, we have to be intentional. For teachers, that meant looking for opportunities to integrate a biblical worldview into our academic teaching. For us as believers, it means opening our spirits to God’s Spirit, so we don’t miss daily opportunities He sends us to do the same.

Never will there come a time when God will finish with our impact. As long as we can take a breath, we can find ways to impact others with the good news and with the principles of God’s Word. 

I planned for the coming school year to be different from any others I had experienced. I now knew my why. 

Do you know why you are here?


Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God ( and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Busy World, released in December 2019. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.


  1. Good morning, Martin, and thank you. I was reading another blog this morning talking about why we write our books the way we do. A lot of us talked about wanting to write entertaining, thought-provoking books that our families would be proud of. Your post has added to that concept. In order to get to the "what" and "how", we need to start with the "why."

  2. Thanks for sharing this experiences with us, Martin. Determining our "why" will help to pinpoint strategic plans, give a clearer vision, and avoid confusion in whatever we do. Knowing our "why" in writing will put us in the correct mindset to give the reader the message God has put on our hearts to point them to Him.

  3. This question had echoed through my mind during my prayer time. I've been running all of my commitments through God's filter, and the "why" of each one is central to understanding His guidance.