I love goals, life hacks, resolutions, habits, etc. I’ve been fascinated with personal development since I was in high school. In my spare time I’m reading about cold showers, Wim Hoff breathing techniques and Atomic Habits. Last year, I shared a little about my “Christ-Centered Goal Setting” process, which you can find at these links:
However, this year I was convicted that I wasn’t asking the most important question before diving into my goals.
So often we dive into goals, resolutions or habits with the question of, “what do I want to pursue this year?” There is nothing inherently wrong with this question, but I want to propose that there is a better question we should be asking.
I would argue that the most important question to ask in 2019 is this:
“God, what do YOU want me to pursue this year?”
And maybe, just maybe, we should also be asking, “God, what do you want me to lay down this year?”
Goal Setting & Cross Carrying
The call of Jesus isn’t “find yourself, pursue all of your heart’s desires and follow your passions”. That’s the American dream, not the Christian one.
The call of Jesus is deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9:23
- How are we going to deny ourselves if we’re only asking what we want?
- How are we going to pick up our cross if we’re not laying down our lives?
- How are we going to follow Jesus if we’re really just seeking our passions?
I’m not saying that your goals are wrong or that they’re not what God wants you to pursue, but how do you know for sure if you haven’t asked?
Desire & Delight
The scriptures remind us to be cautious of our desires because our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9). At the same time, it teaches us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart (Ps. 37:4). The key factor is where we are place our delight.
If we delight in our goals, dreams and ambitions we might gain the world, but in the process lose our souls (Matt. 16:26). If we delight ourselves in God, he will give us dreams bigger than this world.
So ask yourself this question, “God, what do YOU want me to pursue this year?” Then, follow it up with, “God, is there anything you want me to lay down?”
This year, let us continue to set goals, but let’s set them under the weight of the cross versus the whims of our heart.