One thing I’ve learned while pursuing goal setting since high school is that revelation doesn’t equal transformation. What I’m saying is that all the knowledge in the world doesn’t mean you will actually apply any of it.
You know what I’m talking about because you do it all the time.
“I want to lose weight and I’m working out all the time, but none of the pounds are coming off” Really, because you just had a whole can of Pringles, a Digornio pizza and washed it down with a Dr. Pepper for dinner. Plus, going to the gym once a month and hopping on the elliptical for 30 minutes at a casual pace while watching TBS doesn’t count as “working out all the time”.
We know what we need to do to lose weight. Eat clean, workout regularly and get plenty of sleep. This knowledge by itself though doesn’t translate into action, especially when that extra piece of cheesecake is calling.
People don’t change when something simply captures their mind. People change when something or someone captures their heart.
In our last post, we looked at how to let Christ shape our goals and not culture. This framework is built around pursuing goals biblically, prayerfully and eternally. Today, I want to look at the heart posture necessary to motivate us towards our goals.
When something captures your heart it becomes your life. Jesus knew this to be true when he said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Have you ever seen a young man fall in love? I see this happen all the time in youth ministry. A student is living his care free life – disheveled hair, wrinkled clothes, and pretends to be transcended above his friends that have fallen for the opposite sex. Then it happens.
That young man all of a sudden is using product in his hair, is wearing brand clothes (that she picked out for him of course) and worships the ground that she levitates above. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. When something captures your heart, it captures your life.
If money captures your heart that is what you treasure. If it’s your career then that becomes your life. What does a heart captured by Christ look like as it pursues its goals?
The first heart posture is a posture of humility. It takes a humble disciple to lay her life down, pick up her cross and pursue the goals the Lord has for her instead of pursuing every whim of a goal that is in the mind. It takes a humble disciple to realize how dependent they are on God and that apart from him they can do nothing of eternal significance. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
It takes a humble disciple to listen to the wisdom of their friends, for the best goal setting doesn’t simply happen individually, but communally with brothers and sisters who will speak into your life.
Humility is the heart posture that Jesus himself embodied. We worship a Savior who even though, “existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.”
We must pursue our goals humbly before the presence of God.
The second heart posture is a posture of faithfulness. We aren’t going to get to heaven and God say, “Well done good and wealthy servant”, or “Well done good and physically fit servant” or even, “Well done good and successful servant.”
No, instead what we’re going to hear, if we are in Christ, are the words, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
We worship a God who is steadfast and faithful to his people and has called us to be faithful to him. The scriptures speak repeatedly of stewards being found faithful and in Revelation the church in Smyrna is called to be “faithful until death” and if they do so they will be given the crown of life. That is the ultimate eternal mindset. Faithful to God until our last breath.
As Christ captures our hearts and our goals, we will pursue the goals he’s given to us faithfully.
Lastly, we must have a heart posture of love. What is the greatest command for a Christian? That they love God with all heart, mind and soul and love their neighbor as themselves. If our goals aren’t helping us inch towards greater love, then maybe we aren’t pursuing the right goals at all.
The apostle Paul spoke specifically to the topic of love in the book of Corinthians. He wrote that if we spoke in angelic tongues, or prophecies, or had the faith to move mountains or even gave away all his possessions, but didn’t possess love then we would simply be a noisy gong who had gained nothing.
Its the same for goals in my mind. If you achieve all your financial, physical, or career goals, but they didn’t move you towards greater love, then you really gained nothing. You have already received your reward. Yet, goals pursued with great love and affection for God and neighbor are goals that have eternal significance.
So this year as we pursue goals biblically, prayerfully, and eternally let us also possess heart postures of humility, faithfulness and love.
Whatever captures your heart will end up capturing your life, so make sure whatever captures your heart is worthy of your life.