September 11, 2013 - Radical Hope

We strive to provide for our families. It’s our God-instilled desire to excel—to go the extra mile.

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At the end of the day, what we show for our labor speaks of who we are. In the world of crazy, how do we assure that we’re focused on the right goals?

If we don’t check ourselves on a regular basis, it is an opportunity for Satan to do it for us. That is not what we want.

There is nothing wrong with having a drive to succeed, but being driven can have its disadvantages.

In the process of keeping track of where we are and who we are, there are several questions that may help us maintain proper focus.

  • What is my long-term goal?
    • I don’t mean retirement or career goals. These are fine in and of themselves, but they should not be our primary focus. Before I move on, let me point out that for many in America, retirement is the operative achievement. According to Time Business and Money, more than 44% of Americans are working harder than their parents did to achieve financial freedom. Metlife’s fifth annual survey stated that 80% of Americans see the American Dream as their primary focus, but the definition has changed to personal fulfillment as the most important measure of success instead of money. The definition of personal fulfillment is a topic in itself.
    • As a Christ follower, my long-term goal must involve spreading the Gospel to areas of the world that don’t know Christ. If I don’t have that in my portfolio, I need to make some changes. There are many ways God calls us to be involved. We need to be true to what He is telling us.
  • How do I wish to be remembered?
    • This is not as morbid as it may sound. It’s a question for everyone, not just those facing death. Asking oneself early in life where we are going is Scriptural and appropriate, especially since we need to take this into account for every corner we turn and every hill we climb. For example, if we lead a stellar career, our memory can be dashed to pieces if we become involved in that which we should not. We see this in the news almost every day. Our focus must be on how we are impacting the world with the Gospel, and the manner in which we are living. The kind of car we drive is not important.
  • Are my career moves and my corporate ladder-climbing God-honoring?
    • The road to success is not inherently evil. In fact, I know many Godly CEO’s and corporate giants who have made it to the top in an honorable manner. But if we must burn others and step on toes to get there, we are probably outside of the “God Box.” Take a look and see. You are the best judge.
  • How is my marriage and family life?
    • This is one of the most important reasons to constantly assess your life. There is nothing more important than who you are to your wife and children. They will know what you do, what’s important to you, what angers you, what you say, whether or not you forgive others, how you spend your money, how you spend your time, if you take the high road or focus on vengeance, if you trust God, and how you trust God. Make this count, and make it right.

Living right is a responsibility we have under God. He expects us to follow His lead, but we have to be listening.