How do we set goals and plans to the glory of God?
When it comes to goal-setting, the wisdom of the world says that you should set goals based on self-fulfilment, personal happiness, and dreaming big. There’s nothing that should guide your goals apart from your own desires and the dreams in your heart.
But coming from a biblical, Christian world view, we know that our whole purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Our ultimate goal (and the goal which the Holy Spirit is bringing about in our hearts constantly) is to be more like Christ.
We have a common goal with all our brothers and sisters in Christ, but the outworking of this ultimate goal in our lives – year by year, month by month, and day by day – will look different in each of our lives.
And that’s where I think the value lies in setting personal goals each year. (Of course, you can be a faithful Christian without setting tangible goals each year. This is purely personal preference!)
With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to list out the principles I like to keep in mind when I’m making my own goals each year.
Remember your purpose
Remember that your purpose on earth is to glorify God’s name, not your own (Psalm 115:1). Don’t set goals because they make you look good, but think about how they reflect on the Lord whose name you bear.
While the world says you should be pursuing bigger and bolder goals, and choosing things that “make a difference” in the world, remember that God sees everything little thing you do in secret. He doesn’t need you to live a big, public life to glorify his name.
What do you need to focus on this year to bring glory to God’s name?
Steward your gifts
Wisely steward the gifts and resources God has given you. Turn a “profit” on what you have, rather than letting it waste away or stagnate (Matthew 25:14-30).
I read a great quote the other day about how children are resources, not black holes for our time and money, and I think that’s really worth considering in this context.
If you have kids, how can you use them and steward their lives wisely? How can you make the most of the time with them, turning a profit on it?
Do you have a home, food, marriage, community, special skills? How will you steward all these blessings well this year…
Follow Jesus at all costs
Pursue God’s glory and kingdom even when it means greater hardship (Luke 9:23). Jesus told us that following him would cost us our lives and that we should expect suffering for being Christians.
Are there areas of your life where you’re holding onto comfort and ease instead of walking in obedience to God? Comfort and ease are not our highest priorities because as Christian women, we know the best is yet to come. We know that one day we will enter God’s eternal rest. But for now, there is work to be done!
Don’t disobey God to attain a goal
It’s never a good goal if it involves disobeying God to attain it (Luke 9:25).
In a worldview where the highest goal is self-fulfillment, nothing is off-limits when it comes to reaching your goals. Abortion, divorce, and affairs are all on the cards if that’s what’s required to reach your “highest potential”.
But coming from the biblical worldview, we know that sinning against God is never worth any personal gain, because anything we might gain from it is temporary.
You might not be considering aborting your child or leaving your husband to feel personally fulfilled, but this can be more subtle…
Have you thought about abandoning the work God has called you to in the home in order to pursue a career? Are your pouring all your spare time and energy into a new hobby, such that you are unable to be a helper to your husband?
As I said, these things are not clear cut. But we should all consider whether attaining the goals we have set requires disobeying God. If a goal costs you sin, then it costs too much. Put it back on the shelf.
God works in us
Above all, when setting goals to the glory of God, we need to remember that God is the one who is making us more and more into the image of Christ each day.
That we even desire to please Him and glorify Him is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. Because, on our own, we wouldn’t want these things.
If you’re after some more practical thoughts on God-glorifying goals (and free goal setting worksheets!), check out this post by Kristin at Raising Everyday Disciples: https://raisingeverydaydisciples.com/biblical-goal-setting-worksheet/