There is a spiritual dimension to goal-setting that most leaders missed.
Personal success cannot do away with setting goals. But unlike the popular idea today, goal-setting is not just personal ambitions, job-related due dates and keeping scores.
(In contrast, there’s also a problem of fatalistic abandonment, a spirituality that doesn’t make goals, no ambition or desire to become better, stuck in self-righteous non-productivity.)
Both the faithless exercise and the fatalistic view of no-goal-setting are detrimental to this celebrated discipline.
There’s nothing wrong with goal-setting. It simply deals with an object of ambition, having desired results, or aim in life. In fact, apostle Paul made faith-based goals.
“So we make it our goal to please him…For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:9-10 NIV).
Goal-setting can have eternal significance. Let me share the principles of setting faith-based goals.
1. Specify Your Goals.
Setting goals is a decision to “make.” It’s something you do or create. As such, it is intentional. But intentions are not enough, you must be clear what you really desire to accomplish.
2. Strive to Please God.
How do you make eternally significant goals? It’s when you aim to please God.
The difference of faith-based goal is the object of pleasure, the motivation behind every goal.
Whatever you do and hope to get, if you make God the center of your desire, you transpose your ordinary goal into a spiritually centered one.
3. Stay Accountable.
Have a sense of accountability in setting goals. When you clearly understand that everyone “will appear before God” for ultimate accounting, you’ll have a change of heart.
The one who sets goals as if he is not going to answer to his Maker will certainly reconsider his ways. If he knows, whether he likes it or not, he will appear before God and answer for every decision.
Set goals knowing we’ll face final audit review and evaluation someday. On that event, it’s not what we think that matters but what the eternal Auditor thinks.
4. See the Eternal Reward.
Goals must be rewarding, not just realistic. Added to the benefits of faith-based goal-setting is the eternal reward, not a just temporal sense of accomplishment.
The truth is, both the faithless-goal-setter and fatalistic-no-goal-getter will “receive” the consequences of their decisions. For every action or inaction, there’s “due” reaction.
5. Succeed in Accomplishing Goals.
Goal-setting cannot be divorced from goal-getting. The “things done” are predetermined by things desired. The aim must be accomplished.
Goals are meant to be completed while we’re alive. In eternity, there’s no goal-setting or goal-getting.
God has a purpose for your life and he will make it sure you’ll accomplish it through his power. Think of goals-setting as a partnership with God–He empowers, you endeavor. But the ultimate destination is His glory, nothing less, nothing more.
If you want to exercise the spiritual discipline of goal setting, make your goals count for eternity.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017