February 19, 2018
Final Goals or Faithful Steps?
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:7, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Every year at New Years, I’ve made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in the next twelve months. The list usually looks a little something like this:
- Lose twenty pounds
- Read fifty books
- Declutter the whole house
- Grow my business by 20%
I spend a lot of time dreaming about what my life will look like if those things happen: how much better I’ll look, how much more peaceful my home will be, and how much more successful I’ll be if I can just accomplish those things.
But about three weeks into the New Year, my resolve starts to waiver. The first week I’m all starvation and Salvation Army. I will get this weight off – of my body as well as out of my house! And then obstacles come up and my “Eye of the Tiger” passion starts to fade. I realize that my New Year’s burst of energy has fizzled, and really, how did I expect to get all that done? So instead, I’ll eat the leftover chocolate Christmas orange and watch a Real Housewives marathon.
After decades of making goals, I’ve finally come to the realization that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. My goals were always focused on the end, focused on the reward waiting when the huge goal was accomplished. I spent so much time focused on the outcome, the part that I tried to control but couldn’t, that I wasn’t paying attention to the part I needed to focus on – the small part that was my responsibility.
Instead of the final goal, I need to stay focused on the faithful step I can make.
Instead of outcomes, I need to stay focused on my output.
So instead of “Read fifty books” (the final goal), I now say “I will set aside thirty minutes in the evening for reading” (my faithful step).
Instead of “Lose twenty pounds” I now say, “I will walk for 30 minutes in the morning.”
Because when I am focused on the outcome, I miss the One who is making the miracle happen. I miss God’s hand in my life because I’m convinced that I’m the one who is making things happen.
We would all love to believe that we have absolute control over how our lives will turn out, but just like those who work the farm, some of us plant the seeds, some of us water, but the final results are up to God and God alone.
Our job, just like those farmers, is to faithfully show up and take the next step.
And as much as I would like to lose twenty pounds in the next year, the pounds can’t be the focus. This morning’s walk has to be.
What is your next most faithful step?
Dear Lord, thank You for honoring not just the outcomes, but also the next steps. Help me to be faithful in everything You have for me, and to keep my eyes only on You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
For one of the goals you have for yourself, what is the one, next, most faithful step you can take?
More from the Girlfriends If one of your next most faithful steps is to start decluttering your home, join us in the Facebook group Clutter Free Academy where we help world changers get free from clutter so they can be free to go change their world.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Monday, 19 February 2018.