How can setting the right goals bring happiness?
Goals bring life into focus.
They give meaning and purpose to life.
The Bible says:
“For we must all appear afore the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
In the long run, we will all see Jesus and give account of how we managed these bodies of ours. He has given us instructions for living, and we will be evaluated on the basis of them. We will do well to prepare for that day.
King Solomon, who tried everything under the sun, came to the following conclusion:
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. Because God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Eccl.12:13-14).
We tend to get involved with people, activities, and things with a great surge of energy and pleasurable expectations. Anticipation fans our expectations. Our hope is that reaching an objective will result in great satisfaction and pleasure. Then, after several months or years of effort, we end up disillusioned.
Here are some goals that should satisfy, but don’t:
1. Making money
2. Acquiring things
3. Building your own business
4. Retiring with a good pension
5. A trim figure
6. Using talent and ability
These are all good goals. Everyone must make a living and provide for his future. We all need to do what is necessary to maintain health and use our own talents and abilities. Who would quarrel with having marriage and a happy family life as a goal? Surely everyone who has worked until age sixty-five or seventy is entitled to an easy retirement.
However, if you know and keep the commandments, it means that in the process of making a living, making money, acquiring an estate, using your talent, staying fit, maintaining a marriage and a family, you do it all in a way that pleases Jesus, whom you love and who one day will evaluate you.
Everyone must live out life every day. How should we conduct ourselves in the process? Look at some Bible verses:
Not every one who says to Me, ”Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6:33).
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men (Rom. 14:17-18).
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
The Creator of the universe is interested in what manner of person we are. He also wants us to entrust the people in our lives and the events of our lives into His hands. We can do everything possible to make things come out as we judge they should, knowing, however, that our thoughts are not His thoughts, neither are our ways His ways.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6).
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Phil. 4:11-13).
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Ps. 56:11).
Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (Ps. 55:22).
Before the crisis comes, when all is peaceful, you can commit your ways and your loved ones into His hands. Because it is not a question of if some crisis will come. It’s a matter of when it will come. You must be ready.
Jesus once told his disciples: “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be serve, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).
The happy physician, dentist, counselor, lawyer, builder, banker, husband, wife, father, or mother is the one who gives himself completely to the task. There may be rewards or there may not be. There may be appreciation or there may not be. A servant doesn’t perform services for rewards or appreciation. He serves in Jesus’ name and for His sake. He gives because he is a servant.
Everyone must make a living, provide for the future, maintain health, use his talents and abilities, associate with family and friends. Doing these things causes a weariness of the flesh, unless you set proper goals.
- Grow in your knowledge of the commandments.
- Live righteously, peacefully, justly; love kindness; have a pure heart; take mistreatment patiently.
- Trust God to guide you and trust Him to bring people and events into and out of your life.
- Have the spirit of a servant; lose your life for Jesus’ sake and the gospel’s.
“To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).
This is an excerpt of chapter 9 from Dr. Brandt’s book I Want Happiness Now! currently available as an e-book.