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A View from the Altar / Random thoughts on setting goals
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Random thoughts on setting goals

Christians should reflect on what God would have them do. Not much controversy about that.

The Bible focuses a great deal of attention on what kind of people we are, quite a bit less on the greatness of our attainments. That’s not to say that great works, humanly speaking, don’t matter. I’m glad America has tall buildings, personal computers, and nuclear power plants. Having lived in some places that were not nice at all, I often thank God for the fact that my family has a nice house to live in.

But when God judges a city, it’s on the basis of moral character, not secular achievement. There are little towns he will exalt and great cities he will condemn. Many that are last shall be first, and first that shall be last. Yes? And won’t the hills be brought low and the valleys exalted before him?

So when setting goals, a Christian man should ask, Goals for what? A wise person realizes he needs good goals for his goals.

I knew a man who set goals for his finances but none for his family, another who set goals for his early retirement but expressed no concern for how he did his work. Trash businessmen who cheat to get ahead are a cliche’ because they set goals for getting your money without setting any goals for their own integrity.

What, then, about the ordinary sinner who just doesn’t get his priorities right? He thinks hard work is a virtue, failing to realize that it’s good to be zealous, but only about good things.

What’s the profit, said the Master, if you gain the whole world but lose your soul? A Christian man should set good goals for his goals. It’s one thing to be an expert marksman, quite another to take aim at the right target. Or to borrow from one of the internet’s best writers (Doug Wilson), it doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have under the hood if you’re on the wrong road.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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