Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goals and My New Year's Resolution

Yesterday I posted about how my new year's resolution was to establish some goals. Well after writing that post I decided to do a little research on goals, and I came across some interesting articles on how it is actually better NOT to have goals. These writers claimed that goals actually limit us and are more like harsh task masters than helpers. To read more about what these authors had to say on not having goals, click here.
I found this information very interesting and rather freeing. It also got me thinking about whether goals are biblical or not. If you think about it, most of the goals people set are wordly in nature. They have nothing to do with eternity future. In fact the only time the word "goal" is mentioned in the Bible is in Philippians 3:14 "I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."(ESV translation) Our main goal is to know, love, and serve Christ. Of course this can include setting various temporal goals, but my point is as long as Christ is our main goal, the rest is details.

So the reason I started thinking about goals in the first place is because I thought maybe it would help me be less anxious and more content.  But after my research I've decided that the goal I need to work toward this year is this: take life as it comes. I need to learn to take what I'm given and work with it. Most of my anxiety stems from worrying about what I have no control over. So my goal this year is to focus on what I do have control over and leave the rest to God. Also I want to dwell on the little things I can be thankful for during bad days. So often I spend my time dwelling on what's going wrong instead of what is going right. Basically my goal is become an optimist. This will all be easier said than done, but I was encouraged to read this by John Piper:
         " The message of Christmas is that whatever is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed. Wherever people say about their bad habits, “That’s just the way I am; you’ll have to get used to it,” the message of Christmas has been rejected. It’s as though the AAA truck pulls up to your dead car and you say, “Ah, it’s no use, that’s just the way this car is.” And you don’t even let him hook up his cables. The message of Christmas is the jumper cable between God and your life. And the power that flows is the power to change." (To read the whole article, click here)

My being anxious about what I can't control and being discontent and unthankful with what I've been given is sin, but the good news of the Gospel is that I can change by the power of Christ who works within me. As Paul says in Philippians 3, I must forget the bad habbits of the past and press on to my new goal of being Christlike. I'm sure I will struggle with anxiety and discontent for the rest of my life, but I don't have to be ruled by it anymore. This is good news.

Whether or not you made goals or resolutions for the new year or not, know this: if you are in Christ, you are no longer enslaved to sin. Without Him, you will die in your sin and spend eternity paying for it. Make knowing Jesus your ultimate goal this year! You won't regret it.



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