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Is Goal Setting Biblical? (1) By Babatunde Olugboji

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Is Goal Setting Biblical? (1) By Babatunde Olugboji 

At the beginning of each year, many of us, after reflecting on the goodness of God in the past year, often ponder on what we want to achieve in the New Year and put pen to paper and set some goals for the next 12 months. However, many believers struggle with goal setting. Should I leave everything to God and let Him do as He pleases since He is the ruler of the universe? Would setting goals mean I am not trusting God with all my heart? Does it mean I am leaning on my own understanding, instead of submitting to God in all my ways so that He will make my paths straight as Proverbs 3:5-6 admonishes? Does articulating goals contravene Psalm 118 verse 8 which says, it is better to trust in The Lord than to put confidence in man? Does that mean I am trusting in myself and not the Lord? 

We’ll address these questions in a 2-part series, starting this week.

Contrary to whatever you may have been told, trusting God and setting goals are compatible. The Bible makes it clear that it is essential to set goals and plan for the future, while at the same time having a humble attitude and trusting in God.

Believers are to be intentional, yet open-minded. We should be wise and conscientious stewards who know that our trust and dependence is ultimately in God and not ourselves. 

Setting goals is one way we can faithfully steward the resources, talents and gifts God has given us. In all of our goal setting, we must be submissive to God. Our goals should line up with God’s plans for us and those things He cherishes. Without a humble heart, we may ascribe all the glory to ourselves, even inadvertently. We may think things will look one way, but God can change our plans to accomplish His greater purposes in and through us. So, we should be flexible in God’s hands.

In setting goals and plans to accomplish them, it is important to do a needs assessment, to check what those plans will cost us:  in finances, time, or any other resource. (Luke 14:28–33) 

We should take a self-inventory to confirm if we are willing and able to meet the costs. It is also of crucial importance to ask wise people in our lives for advice on how to best create and follow a plan to achieve our goals, for without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15)

Hard work is a must. When we set goals, we should work assiduously in the hope of achieving them: The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5) To best achieve our goals, we should use the season we are in to prepare for the season ahead. 

We must not be like the lazy sluggard, but rather like the diligent ant: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6–11)

Have a great week.

Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.

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