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Sometimes I find it really difficult to set goals.
They seem far removed from reality, they don’t always make sense to me, and they require lots and lots of work.
At this point in my life, I would still call myself a goal setter, however. Every year it seems I set goals for my life that I sincerely hope to achieve. There is a process I go through at the start of each new year, and it helps me to create massive amounts of focus towards my goals. In fact, I wrote about HERE.
But there is a problem with being a Christian and being a goal setter. Many don’t believe that you can be both at the same time. Whenever I talk about this subject, I usually sense a push-back from people who are deeply committed to Jesus. I used to be one of those people who pushed back at setting goals.
Goal setting wasn’t for me for a variety of reasons. My Christianity, I thought, kept me from setting goals and achieving things in my life. God wanted it this way, I believed. It was an act of trusting in God to throw caution to the wind and never set any real, lofty, soul-stretching goals because it proved my dependency on him…right? Wrong.
This is a subject with many opinions, and honestly, this post is mine.
I will say, however, that since I became a goal setting Christian, it has revolutionized my life. The feelings I once felt of discouragement over my situation are gone. In my early twenties, I learned that goal setting improved my outlook by challenging me and challenging my faith.
One reason that Christians are discouraged from time to time is that they never challenge their faith on purpose. Certainly, situations arise that battle against our faith. Throughout 2016, I faced the faith fights that come with sickness and physical pain. Things like this can push against your faith and test its strength, stamina, and reliability. But believers need to be willing to challenge their faith by moving in the offensive as well as the defensive.
When problems come into your life, faith responds by defending us, and that’s a good thing. We need this kind of faith, but goal setting is the opposite, and also needed, type of faith challenge. Goal setting works in the offensive and seeks to move your life forward.
If you are a Christian who pushes back against goal setting, I fully understand because I did too, but don’t fail to open your mind to the possibility of intentional growth that comes from setting, reaching for, and achieving lofty goals. Ones that you firmly believe come from God, designed specifically for your life.
Although this post is based on opinion, I think it is an educated opinion. While dealing with people for over twenty years in the ministry, I’ve had the chance to see hundreds of responses given by those on both sides of the fence of this argument. I’ve also witnessed the successes and hard fought victories people achieve, and the heart wrenching, crash and burn moments of others.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The right #goals challenge your #faith and shape who you’ll become. #buildyourfaith” quote=”The right goals challenge your faith and shape who you’ll become. ” theme=”style2″]
With all this being said, let me give you what I see as:
The top five reasons why Christians push back at goal setting.
1. They don’t know if their goal reflects the will of God for their life.
Honestly, this was a big factor in why I used to be against goal setting.
Since it seemed impossible to know the complete will of God for my life, how would it be possible to set goals that were in keeping with God’s wishes? If I set goals (and I wanted to), but they were goals contrary to God’s plan, wouldn’t it make me walk out of the will of God for my life? The answer is YES.
Setting goals that don’t reflect God’s purposes for you will cause your life to deviate from God’s plan. But this reason is why it’s necessary to invite God into the process of goal setting.
Nowadays, I don’t just sit down and start writing out goals for my life haphazardly. I pray at length about the things I feel need to be accomplished or that I want to accomplish. Believers need to invite and include God in the process of their daily life. The real “sin” if you will is keeping God at arm’s length. He wants to be a part of everything going on in your life, and that includes the hopes, dreams, and aspirations you have. Your goals are important to him, so much so, that he will direct your goal setting if you allow him to.
When a goal is God-directed, you can be certain that it is God’s will. This is the key to reaching for the right things in life.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Believers need to invite and include God in the process of their daily life. #buildyourfaith” quote=”Believers need to invite and include God in the process of their daily life.” theme=”style2″]
2. They over spiritualize life and believe that God does all the hard work of making progress happen for us.
To be clear, everything is life is spiritual. There is no such thing as a “God box” that contains all the spiritual stuff while leaving the other things outside of it. Your work is spiritual, and so is your money, your marriage, your dreams, and everything else. God has a plan for all of it.
But many times we still tend to over-spiritualize things like goals and shy away from pushing ourselves because we have the false belief that God will do all the hard work in life for us. The fact is, he won’t.
God didn’t create you to be a robot that does nothing except by command. He formed you to be a human being that feels, responds, pushes forward, experiences joy, and has dreams, hopes, plans, and vision. Goal setting is a form of vision.
God won’t do all the heavy lifting in life for you. He will help you become the person of great faith, and spiritual strength you were created to be. Just as you want to see your children grow, mature, get strong, make plans and achieve them…So also, God wants to see the same things happen to you.
Goal setting will push your faith on purpose and make it grow into its fullest potential. Set lofty goals and then start reaching for them.
[clickToTweet tweet=”#Goal setting is a form of #vision.” quote=”Goal setting is a form of vision.” theme=”style2″]
3. They believe Jesus is coming tomorrow, so why bother.
If there was ever a reason why I used not to set goals, this is it. Now, don’t misunderstand, I’m fundamental on doctrines like the rapture and the second coming of Christ, but I no longer feel like what I believe should keep me from going forward in life.
The truth is, Jesus may come today, but that doesn’t mean you should sit idly by until he does. Be productive. Do something. Set a goal and go for it.
Building plastic models was my thing; the kind that comes in a box and you have to use glue to put them together. I loved doing that. When I was thirteen I purchased a model of a 1955 Ford F-100. It was the sweetest truck I’d ever seen and I wanted to own one someday. Well, my day came at the age of fourteen. I saw the truck sitting on a corner lot and through a series of circumstances, I purchased it.
That Ford sat in my front yard for two whole years before I’d be old enough to get my license and drive it. Every evening after school I would sit in it.
One day I got so discouraged when the thought crossed my mind that Jesus might come before I would ever get to drive the truck myself.
Today, at forty years old, I realize that things take time. I realize that Jesus is still coming, but I treat this knowledge differently than I used to. As it relates to goal setting, I choose to live like Jesus will come today, but plan, prepare, and work like he is never coming.
The fact is, someday you’re going to die but don’t let that fact keep you from living. Jesus is going to come…maybe today…but don’t let the awesome hope of this promise keep you from becoming the person God wants you to be and experiencing all that is possible in your life.
By the way, I did drive the truck…it was awesome. To this day, it’s probably still my favorite.
4. They’ve failed before and are afraid of failure again.
You’ve failed before, haven’t you? It doesn’t feel good, does it? The answer is NO. We’ve all experienced the pain and regret of failure. Some people refuse the idea of goal setting because they’ve set goals before and failed to achieve them. But doing this is like having a hammer and refusing to use it again because one time you swung and missed the nail.
Failure once doesn’t mean failure forever.
Launch out and try something again. Pray about it. Wrap your head around it, and get out there and try it.
The people of God throughout the generations have refused to let failure stop them. Why should you examine your failures and come to the conclusion that they will define you? Failure doesn’t define you, but refusing to get up and try again does.
[clickToTweet tweet=”#Failure doesn’t define you, but refusing to get up and try again does. #buildyourfaith #goals” quote=”Failure doesn’t define you, but refusing to get up and try again does.” theme=”style2″]
5. They simply lack the faith to go forward.
Here is probably the biggest reason of all that people don’t set goals and then reach for them.
They don’t believe the goals they set are attainable, and it’s sad when a believer doesn’t have the faith to think that they can achieve a goal…even with God’s help.
To be clear, most of us believe that anything is possible with God. “God can do anything,” we say. So the problem isn’t with believing in God. The problem is believing that God can do something IN and THROUGH us.
You have to have faith to believe that God wants to do something in your life before you will set out to achieve it. The fact is, God not only wants to do something in you, but he works tirelessly to produce good things in your life. The God you serve has a great plan for your life, and he wants to help you set goals and reach them. God wants to bring glory to his name through the things that he does in your life.
Having faith in God also means having faith in what God wants to do in YOU.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Having #faith in #God also means having faith in what God wants to do in YOU. #buildyourfaith ” quote=”Having faith in God also means having faith in what God wants to do in YOU. ” theme=”style2″]
Now, there are probably many more reasons why a Christian may push against goal setting, but in my opinion, these represent the top five that I’ve witnessed.
With all this being said, you need to do this: Don’t let this year be like last year, or last month, or even last week.
Here’s How you do this:
Invest your faith in the power of God to do great exploits in your life.
Set goals in keeping with God’s plan.
Press to reach your goals because reaching them glorifies God.
Never, ever, ever give up.
Now, I would be so appreciative if you would share this post on your Facebook or Twitter…maybe pin it on Pinterest.
There’s probably a lot of people that you know who could benefit from setting goals and reaching them. This post can help…so can you by sharing it.
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