Goals: a word you’ve probably been hearing since first grade. They change from getting a gold star in class to just passing the class as you get older. When we think about the motivation behind our goals, sometimes the lines can get blurred. As a Christian, my first thought is to have goals that please God. But what really is a goal that pleases God?
Let’s start by talking about goals in general. God wants us to live in purpose, not by accident. For example, just sitting around on your futon and binge-watching New Girl isn’t going to get you a degree, just like quietly waiting for something to happen isn’t going to bring you closer to God.
There’s no checklist for creating a God-pleasing goal, but it’s not supposed to be easy. If it were easy, we wouldn’t need to talk to God, and that is what setting goals with God is all about! Instead of just following the rules, He wants a relationship with you. The main figures in the Bible all had goals, even Jesus, and they accomplished them with God’s help. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”.
So, how can you tell the difference between goals that come from God and goals that come from yourself? The greatest thing about God is that He loves you unconditionally. No matter what path you’re considering, He is right there with you and wants to talk with you about it! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. Pray and confide in Him, and He will help you.
Now, to call out the biggest misconception of all: not all goals from God are to go on mission or to become a pastor. We all have unique gifts, and most of us know that we were NOT given those (maybe the gift of eating 20 Wendy’s nuggets, but that’s beside the point.). God wants us to do all things for His glory, no matter how big or how small. It could be actually going to Fike Recreation Center this week, growing your community by getting more involved, choosing to continue your education after your senior year, or even just finally washing your clothes. If you love God and love like Him, you can be a light to others in all of these activities.
Trust me, people will notice when you do things for God’s glory. They will be curious of where your joy comes from, and maybe you’ll get the chance to share it. Either way, your actions and attitude are the best way to show His love. So, whistle while you work today, just not on the bottom floors of Cooper Library.