2020 was a year of unprecedented changes in almost every aspect of life. 2021 can be a reset year with a few well-thought goals. The Bible verse in Philippians 3:14 challenges us to "press on toward the mark to win the prize". What a great verse to keep in mind as we, as Christians, take on 2021 goals.
Financial advisor, Dave Ramsey, recently blogged about setting goals. "Having goals in life is essential—especially when things look chaotic. So this year, take some time to really think about those goals." Mr. Ramsey offers guidelines for setting the goals including: make goals measurable; have a time limit in mind; make sure your goals are your own; put your goals in writing.
In Philippians, Paul is using the analogy of a runner or athlete pressing toward a goal. The athlete strains ahead and does not look back. If, then, we are racing, how can our goals reflect that? Let us break down the guides given by Dave Ramsey for setting goals, or shall we say, "marks".
The "Measurement" Mark
Every race has a measure, the "mark". Pray for God to place a well defined mark in front of you. A mark that will be attainable, visible and that you are not easily distracted from. That mark may be financial or have to do with building a relationship or work related, or some other goal. The key is to know the measurement you set to get to the mark.
The "Time" Mark
James 4:13-15 shares good wisdom regarding time and reminds us that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Some people may think that is a get-out-of-jail-free card to live life as it comes with no particular plan. As Christians running the race, we are mindful of time. We are grateful for every minute of the race. No time to waste and specific accounting of time is called for by the true athlete. Set time to your goals.
The "Ownership" Mark
A runner does not hand over his race to another athlete to run. Take stock of whether your race is truly your own or being forced on you by someone else. It is all too easy to accept the suggestions of a well meaning loved one and receive the baton that was not meant to be yours. We are called according to God's purpose as stated in Romans 8:28. Reflect on your mark to see if you are truly in your own lane.
The "Written" Mark
There is something that triggers in the brain when we write thoughts down as opposed to just thinking. Somehow, paper and pen make thoughts real. Your "mark" written down allows you to visit it often, whether you place it in a calendar or on the bathroom mirror. When those inevitable stumbles do occur, the mark has been made acutely visible to take up and follow once more.
Run for the mark and God bless 2021!
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