Do you have a list of goals you pressure yourself to accomplish? Maybe yours look like: earn a degree, get a job, get in shape, find a spouse, get the promotion, buy a house, drive nice cars, have two kids, send them to private school, retire early. The problem with our list of goals for ourselves is that they always seem to get longer, not shorter. We humans always seem to want just a little bit more than we currently have. We feel we need, maybe, just a little bit more or a little something different.
Feelings are fickle. We can fall out of love with our work, stop enjoying pursuing our goals, or feel unfulfilled in life. We might internally argue we’re too old to pursue passions or too young to be taken seriously. We might be conned out of God’s calling by the world’s values on fancy things and faking fine.
Understanding why we wake up and work at our relationships, goals, and career is really a filter for all our decisions. When you know why you do what you do, then intentionally choosing what to do with your time will lead to long-term satisfaction.
As a Christ follower, the charge to show up as a faithful spouse, a loving parent, a hard laborer, an honorable student, or even an obedient child has deeper, more eternal meaning. Jesus reminds us that the mission to carry His character into the world requires less of us and more of Him.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30 NIV
Our list of goals cannot be about us or who we aspire to be if we expect the outcome to stand the test of time. When we realign our daily goals with God’s eternal perspective, life has deeper meaning. He’s called you where you are, in your specific situation, for the purpose of displaying His character through the way you live your life.
When you understand that perspective, the struggles you experience become short-term steps on the way to long-term success.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Surrendering all your reasons for work and play to Jesus is the only channel through which God’s best and biggest blessings flow. When we exchange an earthly mindset for living Kingdom-minded goals, we experience long-lasting fulfillment and gain momentum in all we do.
So, how to shorten your list of goals? Try God’s list of goals. It’s pretty short.
- Love God.
- Love People (including yourself).
That’s God’s formula for a life well lived. When you can honestly say you’re living your life by seeking God first, you’ll find everything else will fall into place, too. You won’t stress as much about things that are meaningless in the end. You’ll have your priorities straight, and your list of goals will quit getting longer. God’s list of goals is the only list you’ll ever hope you never finish—because it’s truly a joy to love God and His people.