A goal can be defined as the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
We all have goals – some short term, some long term, and all with varying levels of thought put into achieving them. As a twenty-something I am in a goal setting decade of life. I have (culturally speaking) traditional goals: graduate college, land a full-time job, buy a house, and get married. Then there are my personal goals: traveling the world, getting in shape, waking up earlier, and learning to say “no” more to name a few. But I don’t want to talk focus on what your goals are, but rather why you want to achieve them.
It’s important to know the reason you’re striving and working towards, well, anything. Is it because it’s what everyone else is doing? Because it’s what your family wants you to? Because you feel like you’re supposed to want these things?
When setting goals we must check our motives. Your what is the goal, but your why is the reason. Ask yourself, “What purpose will achieving this goal serve in your life?”
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17
So how do you know if you have the right why?
Related Post: How to Find Your Why
First, understand your purpose in Christ. Our lives are not our own. Our purpose is to make known the love of the father and live to show his glory in everything we do. That does not mean we should only read our bibles and listen to worship music. We each have unique desires placed in our heart by God and we should pursue those things.
Next, determine who your goal glorifies, you or God?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. – Philippians 2:3
Are you pursuing a healthy lifestyle because you want to honor the body God gave you and be at your best? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but pursuing vanity for the sake of vanity is self-glorifying. Do you desire a successful business or career? Is it to make more money for yourself or to have a greater influence to help others?
What about traveling or learning a new hobby such as salsa dancing – can these things glorify God? Yes, if we pursue them with a grateful heart and the understanding they are wonderful things He allows us to enjoy. Even hobbies can point our hearts to worship and that’s what it’s all about.
Our ambitions should not fulfill us, they should fulfill our purpose of worshiping and glorifying God. You won’t find joy and peace chasing something you can lose. It’s an unstable foundation for your hope. Jobs change, stock markets crash, people disappoint, and metabolisms slow down, but God’s love and faithfulness is unchanging (Psalm 103:17).
Live your life and pursue wonderful things. Just remember that truly knowing the one who created those things is the greatest accomplishment.