Okay, please forgive me the 90’s music reference (not my favorite genre) but I do so to serve a purpose and hopefully raise an important point. If I were to give you five minutes to list five things you want to accomplish in the next five years, would you be able to do so? My guess is that you could. In fact, why don’t you go ahead and give this a try. You can get back to reading this once you’re done. We’ll call it the 5/5/5 challenge: 5 minutes, 5 goals, 5 years. Go.
Well, did it even take you five minutes? Probably not. I believe that most people have at least some idea of what grand goals they want to accomplish. You might have written down something like retirement, or get out of debt, or to get in shape. Maybe you want to start a family and buy a house. Hopefully, somewhere on that list you also have some spiritual goals.
While I hope it wasn’t too difficult to come up with your unique list of “wants,” I also hope you realize that was the easy part. Let me give you another task that will be much more challenging. Take a look at your list and then write out what specific things you are actually doing right now to make sure that you accomplish those goals. Don’t list what things you’ll promise to start doing tomorrow; only what you’re currently doing. Tomorrow’s promises are simply today’s excuses.
For most people, knowing what they want is easy, but having a plan on how to get it is a different story. I’ve encountered many people who have bemoaned the sad situation they find themselves in but have taken no steps to change it. Recently, I had a mother tell me about all the scary changes she was seeing take place in her son and how she wished that he would get back in church and start following God. However, when I asked this mother how often she was going to church, she scoffed and told me that had nothing to do with it. If you’ve ever struggled with that type of mindset, then let me kindly refer you to click here.
While you’re massaging those sore toes I just stepped on (I kid because I love!), let’s take a quick pause and look at what Scripture has for us today.
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)
I think this well known verse highlights three important truths for all of us when it comes to the goals we set and how we seek to accomplish them.
- We will one day have to answer to God for the things we actually did, not just the goals we set. Can you imagine standing before the Lord Almighty, being asked to give an account for your life, and saying, “Well, I know I really didn’t accomplish very much, but I did set some awesome goals, and I really, really, wanted to do those things!” This verse reminds us that you are to “do your best,” not just plan your best. We are called to be ones who can stand before God and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
- We must strive to accomplish our goals with integrity. We are each called to be “a worker who does not need to be ashamed.” There are plenty of opportunities in this life to take a short cut or to do things in a less than reputable way. What good is accomplishing a goal if you have to be ashamed before the Lord in how you achieved it?
- Your goals must be in line with the Word of God. This is really the most important point which is why I’m saving it for last. Go back to your list and as you look at each item ask yourself if you’re doing those things for yourself or for the Lord. Moreover, is the plan you have in place to accomplish that goal in accordance with the “word of truth”? Those things you hope to accomplish will be sweeter and more easily achieved if you take the time to make sure they are in line with God’s Word and His plan for your life.
If these words have been challenging and convicting to you, then take some time today to rewrite your list. Don’t worry about getting it done in five minutes or only having five items. Take some time to be with the Lord and in His Word. Have a focused time of prayer and meditation, seeking to understand what things God wants you to accomplish. Work hand in hand with God to determine the plan, the daily steps you will take, to see those goals accomplished. Let’s commit together to be a people who don’t just dream of the things we hope to achieve one day, but ones who celebrate the things that are being accomplished now in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.