The start of a new year is a time when many people are making resolutions and setting goals for the year ahead.
There is a sense of freshness and of new-beginnings in January that wasn’t there in December. It’s a time of letting go of the old and looking forward to the new possibilities ahead.
This morning, as I read 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, I was struck by what it had to say about goal-setting:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
This was a timely word for me, and for all of us goal-setters and resolution-makers. Like many people, I have spent time reviewing my goals from last year and considering goals for the upcoming year, including goals for both my ministry and goals for my personal life.
This year I aim to reach more people for Christ, exercise regularly, be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my son. Yet, before all of those good goals (and foundational to all those goals) my number one goal is to please God. This goal may not make the most sense to everyone else. It may not seem practical enough or specific enough by the standards of the world. Like Paul says above, it requires living “by faith, not by sight”. (v.7)
I believe that this goal is a goal that should orient all other goals. It should serve as a filter for all our other goals. – If our goals don’t please God, then they aren’t really even good goals. It’s pleasing God that matters.
He is the one that will judge our goals and accomplishments as good or bad. (v. 9)
Questions: Are you setting any goals this year? What are some of your goals and why?