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Faith Alive! | Redeeming the time 3

3 – Setting goals / objectives

Set goals

Without a clear vision of where we are going, how will we know what direction to head, or what to do to get there? For all of us the major goal is a place in the kingdom of God. Whatever the world’s standards of success might be, God has only one. At the end of the day, you are either in or out. Therefore, Goal One ought to be, “A place, however humble, in the kingdom of God”. Under this goal there may be other legitimate goals that we set for ourselves, to do with ways in which we might serve God, relationships, work and recreation. Your goals will change over time, but make a list now of what your goals are at the moment.

Set objectives

Popular wisdom recognizes that it is easy to set big goals, but very hard to achieve them: hence proverbs which advise taking things one step at a time – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Time management courses sometimes use the analogy of eating an elephant. This rather daunting task could be accomplished by any person – provided they were prepared to eat one elephant steak a day.

Objectives are the practical steps required in order to reach the goals set. At the start of every year is a good time to refocus on our goals. Then we can set objectives for the year – what we intend to do that year toward reaching our goals. Yearly objectives can be broken down further into monthly objectives, and monthly objectives can become daily action plans.

Objectives should be realistic, but they should also be challenging. You never know how much you can do until you have stretched yourself. Objectives should be specific, and set by reference to specific time frames. Objectives should also be in writing. This will help to keep you focused on putting in the time and energy necessary to reach them.

An example might be the personal quality of holiness. How can you develop this critical quality? This is a difficult task, but there are some things you can do to begin the process:

  1. Do some research to find out what the Bible means by holiness.
  2. Read chapter 11 of Dennis Gillett’s book, The Genius of Discipleship, which deals with this subject.
  3. Begin to include in your prayers a request that God will help you to become holy in mind and body.
  4. Rid your life of anything that makes holiness harder – habits, places, books, magazines, music, bad company.
  5. Raise the problem with your friends, talk about ways to deal with it, and help each other to implement them.
  6. Think about what it is that attacks your holiness, then find a positive strategy for going in the opposite direction (just as Paul advised the Ephesians that thanksgiving is an antidote for dirty jokes and unclean talk).

These are all short or long-term objectives for reaching that important goal, and the same process can be applied to the other goals you have.


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