Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Kind of Goal God Blesses

In review of 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says, “When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God” (CEV).

Bottom Line:
Honor God in all you do

What this means to me:
No matter what I do, I should do it to honor God.

1 Corinthian 10 points out that whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, I should do it all for the glory of God. Don't offend others. Strive to do what is best for others so that they may be saved.

I am to do all things for God's glory. Nothing I do should cause another believer to stumble. I do what is best so that others can be saved. I should also be sensitive to the meaning of my actions to others who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ.

Also I need to be careful to not project my standards on others. I should keep away from being oversensitive and judgmental of others. My actions must be motivated by God's love so that all I do will be for his glory. Ask, "is this action glorifying God or how can I honor God through this action?"

Paul's criterion for all his actions was not what he liked best but what was best for those around him. The opposite attitude would be: 1) being insensitive and wanting what I want, no matter who is hurt by it; 2) being oversensitive and doing nothing, for fear that someone may be displeased; 3) being a "yes person" by going along with everything, trying to gain approval from people rather than from God. In this age of "me first" and "looking out for number one," Paul's startling statement is a good standard. If I make the good of others one of my primary goals, I will develop a serving attitude that pleases God.

Given this, not every goal that I set is a good goal or one that God will bless. So how do I know the kind of goal that God will bless? Here are three questions to consider:

First, “Will my goal honor God?” What kind of goal brings glory to God? Any goal that causes me to trust him more, to depend on him more, to love him more, to love other people more, to serve God, to serve others, to be more unselfish.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God” (CEV). Everything can be done to honor God. I can take out the garbage to honor God. I can wash dishes to honor God. I can research work items to honor God. How? By doing it with the right motive: gratitude. If I want my life to bring honor to God, my goals should help me be the best I can be for God’s glory.

Second, “Is my goal motivated by love?” God is not going to bless a goal motivated by greed, envy, guilt, fear, or pride. But he does honor a goal that is motivated by a desire to demonstrate love to him and to others, because life is all about learning how to love.

Why is it important to have goals that are based on love? Because if I set loveless goals, I’m going to treat people as projects. I’m going to run all over them to get to my goal. God says, it’s not about accomplishments. It’s about relationships. It’s about learning how to love.”

Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV). The number one goal in my life should be to learn to really love, my family, neighbors, unlovely people, and those who are hard to love. This will make me more like God, because God is love.

The current goals I have are about getting things done, while providing service. I have to admit that at this point I have not thought about how they would honor God or done by the motivation of loving others. While I thought my attitude was good, I’m realizing that my responses have not always been motivated by love or for the care and concerns of others. This was also brought to light by my boss yesterday in an interaction I had with another leader. My attitude will make a big difference, I need to think in terms of loving and caring, based on gratitude I have for what God has given and blessed me with. It’s not always the big goals that matter. My attitude in the smaller moments also help contribute to the bigger picture of my character and achieving the right goals that please God and serve others.