As Christians, why do we do what we do? With the New Year fast approaching, I've started to think and pray about goals. I ask questions like, What do I want to see done in 2014? And, how is that going to happen? But the most important question I think we can ask is, Why? Why are we setting certain goals and why do we want them achieved?
D.A. Carson has some helpful insights in his book A Call To Spiritual Reformation.
The Christian's whole desire, at its best and highest, is that Jesus Christ be praised. It is always a wretched bastardization of our goals when we want to win glory for ourselves instead of for him. When we arrange flowers in the church, or serve as an usher, or preach a sermon; when we visit the sick, or run a youth group, or attend prayer meeting–when we do any of these things, and more, with the secret desire that we might be praised for our godliness and service, we have corrupted the salvation we enjoy.*
None of the things that we do or accomplish, no matter how great they might be, can do anything to save us or even make us look any better in the sight of God. Jesus has already done that for us. The implications of this reality are huge. This means that we now set goals with an entirely new mindset and motivation, namely, that Jesus would be glorified. And oh how this lifts a weight off of a persons shoulders. When setting goals or resolutions in light of the desire to glorify Jesus, the weight of performance is lifted off of ourselves because Jesus has already performed for us. Now we can set out to accomplish what we think God wants us to, but without fear of failure or receiving accolade for a job well done.
So as you begin to think and pray about what you want to get done next year, ask yourself the "Why" question. If the glory of Jesus is not your motivation, reassess your goals. But, if the glory of Jesus is your motivation, move forward joyfully and freely, knowing that you might succeed or fail, but in the end, with a heart set on honoring Christ, he is glorified, and therefore you are successful!
*Quoted from A Call To Spiritual Reformation, pg. 57.