I read this article – HERE and remember being challenged by it. Usually I consider goal setting healthy, good, and necessary for any personal, organizational and spiritual growth. Goals are good because they make you grow. But the danger is making goal setting a panacea to all problems and issues we encounter.
The RunKeeper application on my iPhone reminds me that setting a goal is the best way to stay motivated. I do agree to a certain degree. From fitness, finances, and to faith, setting goals are helpful and good. I feel like we need more people to be aware of the fact that they do not set goals in their lives. I tend to be on the side of encouraging and enlisting people to make goals.
New Year’s resolutions serve as a very good example of one of the bad side effects of goal setting practices – lots of hype with little results. You can read about the side effects of over-prescribing goal setting. Download the article “Goals Gone Wild” HERE. Are you experiencing some of the side-effects of over-prescribed goals?
People are aware of the reality of the good and the bad of goal setting culture. This study (Read it HERE) shows realistically that you need to write down goals, have a friend who holds you accountable and establish a follow up system to make it work. What you notice here is the importance of community or group of friends who hold you accountable with your goals.
A passage in a letter written by the apostle Paul to the believers in Philippi with regards to the topic of goals and goal setting comes to my mind:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
(Philippians 3:12-21 ESV)
Questions to Consider in Setting Godly Goals
1. Are you doing your best to own your goals because Jesus owned you?
2. Do you feel entitled that you have made it with the goals you accomplished?
3. Do you encourage and empower others with the goals you accomplished?
4. Are you more interested in gaining earthly things as a result of accomplishing your goals or growing in your citizenship of heaven?
5. Do your accomplished goals lead you to follow Jesus and grow in godliness more?
6. Do your failed goals lead you to focus on Jesus and grow in humility more?
7. Who sets goals for you – you or Jesus?