3 Godly Goals
I’m a therapist. I write goals for patients for a living. I am always mentally writing goals. If you know me well, you know this. And I have probably mentally written a few goals for you or our friendship over the years. New Year’s Resolution time is my favorite time of year. Goals for 2018 have been floating around in my head for weeks. Silly goals like receiving no speeding tickets, shaving my legs daily, eating out only once a week, and always wearing matching bra and panties. Thankfully, serious goals for my personal, family and spiritual life float to the top of my list.
MY PERSONAL GOALS: My health tops my list. I’m not getting any younger, and I’m very aware that taking care of myself, the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), is an important job. But if I’m honest, this job feels like a true uphill climb. It doesn’t matter what I do, age and gravity are constantly bringing me down! Jody and I do try to keep physically fit, and we make this a regular part of our life. We walk three miles most mornings before work. and even longer walks on the weekends. We golf, bike and swim as often as we can. One goal for 2018 is to run eleven 5Ks - 55 kilometers, since we will both be 55 years old this year! Seems fitting, and setting this goal will force us to stay on track with our physical fitness - or die on 11 different occasions in 2018. We are also going to focus on what we are eating. We are big believers in the FAST Metabolism Diet. This is Haylie Pomroy’s 28-day challenge to eat healthy. We typically do this diet in the month of February, since it has 28 days. Neat, huh? We only eat whole grains, brown rice, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. The toughest part of this diet for me is the no caffeine and no sugar restriction. I don’t have many vices, but I do love Diet Pepsi and chocolate! This diet is not pleasant for the first week or two, but then, an internal switch flips and the diet becomes completely unbearable the last two weeks. I’m teasing, it is a great diet and our metabolism always get a nice kick start. Our bathroom scales will testify.
MY FAMILY/HOME GOALS: For our family, Jody and I have discussed goals on how to best welcome a 5th grandchild into our crazy lives, support our oldest granddaughter as she gets cochlear implants and assist our parents as they are growing older gracefully. We also have plans for a few family get togethers to strengthen the ties that bind. My goals for our home is remove all carpeting and install wood flooring. Sounds messy and inconvenient, but it must be done. We also have a goal to enlarge a flower bed in the front yard, the trees in the present bed have overgrown this space, looks bad. When I drive up to our house all I see is a flower bed being squeezed like a girdle by the existing bed edges- Ouch.
MY SPIRITUAL GOALS: Simply, I want to be more like Jesus. This will require death to self-every day, and won’t be accomplished until I meet Him, but it is goal #1. To advance this goal, Jody and I want to bury more of God’s word in our hearts. Jody and I want to memorize a chapter from the Bible each month together, for accountability purposes, and also for the pure competition of it! You know a little – “my memory is better than your memory” kind of thing. 😊 Recently we have memorized 1 Corinthians 13, and have been working on Romans 8 for 3 months- super deep chapter, packed full of life changing truth, but I promise Paul has a little Dr. Seuss in him! This goal may be lofty for two, shall we say, middle-agers, but it is an important one! We also want to continue to pursue a life filled with prayer. This praying without ceasing has been a goal for a few years. This past year, we have gotten more consistent with writing prayers in a journal and have been very blessed as once a month we go back and reread the journal, marking prayers that God has answered! What an encouragement to our faith! We also want to continue discipling younger believers and always make time in our schedule for Gospel conversations.
These goals all sound pretty good and are probably not too different from your goals. And minus the spiritual ones, probably not too different from the world’s idea of acceptable new years resolutions. But as I start to ponder what God would have as my goals each year, I find myself drawn to Micah.
Micah was one of the 12 minor prophets in the Old Testament. Micah and Isaiah were written about the same time- around 700 BC. Judah had been invaded and Micah was speaking God’s words of truth against unjust leadership, in support of the poor and mistreated, so pretty relevant for today. In the 6th chapter, he was chastising the nation of Israel. He was asking rhetorical questions and providing God’s answers. In verse 8, he asks “what does the Lord require of you?” In light of today’s topic, he is asking- “what are God’s goals for you this year?” “How does God want you to live your life?” And then Micah states God’s answer. It is simple, yet perfect- act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. This, my friends, should be our top three goals this year and every year. Keep reading.
ACT JUSTLY: What would acting justly look like in our lives and in our marriages? In life it would mean, living by the commands of God. Love God and love your neighbor.(Mark 12:30-31) Basically, it would mean that you desire to be in line with God more than you desire to be right, or righteous on our own. God’s son, Jesus, is our only justice. He is the only one able to justify us through His shed blood, see what memorizing Romans 8 will do 😊. Living justly would mean living life with the phrase WWJD (what would Jesus do) mindset. Imagine the difference in daily life if this is how we operate. Willing to serve our spouses with no thought of what we will get out of it, but sacrificially giving of ourselves. We definitely would not pick fights or point out shortcomings of our spouses; love would flow through every interaction. Worthwhile goal, huh?
LOVE MERCY: How do we love mercy? In our life it would mean rooting for the underdog, turning the other cheek and always believing the best in people. It would mean extending a lifetime of second chances to family and friends. In marriage it would be best summed up in the word- forgiveness. If we truly loved mercy in our marriages, we would seriously reduce the divorce rate in the church. Imagine if we actually practiced loving the unlovable, even when the unlovable is the one who shares your bed, your checkbook and your last name. This practice of loving mercy in word and deed would change the face of marriage and further God’s kingdom. Aren’t you glad we serve such a smart God?
WALK HUMBLY: Walking humbly with God is not about walking with your head down, but rather about walking through life following God’s footsteps. It would look like a spirit led life! Where our decisions reflect the gospel and the Word of God more than social conventions and the rule of the day. In marriage it would be the vehicle to make sure husband and wife are chasing after the same goal, God’s goals, and denying their own selfish plans. Walking humbly would entrench a common purpose and create an unbreakable bond in your marriage.
Our goals pale in comparison to God’s thoughts and plans for our lives. Let’s not stop at a goal for losing 10 pounds or saving a few bucks. Let’s continue to pursue a truly Word washed life in 2018. Let’s let the words of Micah 6:8 resonate in our hearts and minds!
Happy New Year, friend and faithful reader!
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,they shall be like wool.