The Goal in Goal Setting

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 10:13
by Jacob Abshire on January 12, 2015

The importance of “why.”

After spending enough time reflecting on the prior year and turning my real failures into steps toward growth, I already have a list of goals in mind. Granted, it’s a long, muddy list of goals in infant stage, but a list nonetheless. This is the beginning of goal setting.

As a sidebar, it’s good to keep a notepad handy during your goal setting times. I like to have more than I can handle in order to prioritize and really draw out things with the most value. My list will contain goals I want to do and goals I have to do.

Going from the muddy list to a clean scrub is the next process. But I think it’s worthwhile to pause and consider the big “why” before continuing. This is a question I ask myself often. It helps me separate important things from what can be done later.

The big “why” in goal setting comes first. It’s the question of purpose. What is the purpose of setting goals? Why are they important? How you answer this question is key.

The goal in goal setting is simply to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:13).

By this, I don’t mean to sound churchy. I’m not giving you the default Sunday School answer in order to stroke my conscience or to pacify yours. I mean this with all my might. Goal setting should serve the purpose of bringing God His due honor.

Our goals ought to say to all who observe, “This guy is different. He puts God first.” If my goal is health-related, it should tell others I want my health to honor God first. If my goal is business-related, it should tell others I want my business to honor God first. And so on.

God is intrinsically glorious. It is His nature—the culmination of His attributes (Ex. 33:18-19). No one can add to or take away from His glory because His nature never changes. So, by glorifying God, we declare His honor to others by putting His nature on display.

Here are a few ways goal setting glorifies God when it is done prayerfully:

Goal Setting Shows Serious Intentionality

God is intentional. He created all things with a purpose. Everything has reason. Everything serves an end in His divine plan. God is never willy-nilly with His choices or actions. We ought to be intentional with our goals. They should serve a purpose to God’s end, even if it’s a small part to a bigger plan.

Goal Setting Shows Good Stewardship

No one has anything that was not given to them by God. Even life itself is a gift of God. By using your time and intentionally setting it aside for God’s glory, you’re being a good steward of His gifts. It essentially tells others that your life belongs to the One who gave it and should not be wasted.

Goal Setting Shows Humble Contentment

When we prayerfully consider our goals, we set them with the intention of fulfilling His design, not our own. So when God interrupts our goals, as He will often do, we can easily make changes to align with His design (Ja. 4:13-15). Goals that are prayerfully set are written in pencil, not pen. We anticipate God’s changes at anytime. And that shows our humble contentment for His greater purpose.

The goal of goal setting is not to achieve something, but to be something. It is to be the person God created you to be—a person who puts God’s glory on display.

When preparing your goals, this truth should guide your thinking. Highlight it. Underline it. Print it out on a big sheet of paper so that it stares you down. Do whatever you must to keep it before you.

The goal of goal setting is to glorify God.

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