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03 February, 2013

Godly Goals and Desires

I decided to write this post because I find that I know way too many professed Christians thinking that narcissism and Christianity goes well together.

Often time we get in trouble with God, we leave behind the path He has in mind for us, because we do not make the difference between our goals and desires and God’s goals and desires for us.  Through our indulgences, even when we leave the path behind all together, we do not seem to be interested in getting back to it at all. Even after years of indulgence, instead of trying to get back on the right path, most seem to get deeper and deeper into sinning.  

Some Christians in my surroundings do not seem to be aware that after few decades of being Christian, it is not normal to think that it is perfectly proper to call yourself Christian and jazz it up with narcissism.

I am not saying there is something wrong with desiring a good job, wanting to travel, choosing to go on a mission for God, enjoying good health, wanting to be a teacher in the Church etc.  But, when these things start taking over our lives, they change our attitude for the worst, and they cause us to injure our relationships with spouse, family, colleagues and friends, then, what started as our own desires and goals have become the master of our lives. It gets worse when they become our way of life to the point were our spouses and family are forced to live in an unhealthy atmosphere in order to make room to accommodate our attitude of narcissism.

Often, what we think are godly desires are not godly at all. For instance, when your goals and desires do not materialize as expected, if you have a pattern of being enraged at people who you feel are in the way of realizing them, then you have one major problem with God. If you constantly adopt an egotistical attitude and nobody can get you to move away from your one track selfish mind, then you can be sure there is nothing godly about your goals and desires. There is a deeper problem because your self-worth and your identity are grounded in materials, not in Christ.

Why do we choose our desires and goals over God’s?

We chose our desires and goals over God’s because we want to exercise more control. We do not have to go through the waiting period, the extra long periods of intense uncertainties and the focus that is required to walk in His way.  When we are in control we know in our mind, that we can always make alternate plans, enlist other people’s help and do what we need to do in order to succeed.

Another reason we do not want to follow His plans and desires for us, is because it does not take long to realize that God’s priority is to accomplish His desires to see us living a sinless life. Meaning a life of oneness with Him, a life where we are separated unto the Gospel, holy and committed to Him.  Most of us know that anything else is secondary as far as He is concerned. So we make plans on our own and bring them to Him to bless. Sadly in our feeble and dark minds we think we can still get by and reach heaven because God cannot lie and God is love. When you entertain this type of attitude after decades of claiming you have received Him, you got to ask yourself if you ever received anything new inside.

As Christians, we ought to be mindful of the fact that when our own goals and desires do not materialize. When circumstances are beyond our control and all that we thought was a shoe in ends up being vapour in the wind. We have to remember our attitude and motive matters to God. If you adopt the attitude of manipulating your spouse, family and friends to get your ways you keep yourself in bondage, spiritual growth flies out of the windows and whatever victories you get from using others come at a great cost.

 Some Christians adopt the attitude where they are miserable, they feel depressed, and they become anxious, because they feel somewhat those around them have either betrayed or let them down. Instead of taking responsibility for their selfish life and failure, they learn to live with resentment and bitterness in their hearts because other people around them did not meet with their expectations.

How do you know your desires and goals are Godly? First of all, if indeed you have died with Him, you have nothing to fear. The Spirit’s guides you every step of the way and you will find that even though nothing materialized and everything seems to be out of your control, the delay in getting there whether it take months or years, does not affect the trajectory of your life. You also know with confidence that you are waiting upon Him to get you there when it pleases Him. Also, our attitude when our plans fail basically show that we are not affected by the outcome simply because we know God is in control.

Another way you know for sure that you are following God’s plan is when He constantly leads you to the end of yourself, you cannot depend on anyone around you to get you there. In fact, you know with certainty this plan cannot come together unless God takes the lead. Some examples: Gideon’s army being reduced to 300 (Judges 7:7)  David running for his life to escape King Saul while waiting for God to decide when he would be crowned King as promised more than a decade ago (1Samuel 15:12) Joseph being in Egypt for more than a decade, none of his family around him, he must have asked himself “what was that vision about?” (Genesis 37:7) 

Until we go forward to truly get to know Him, we do not realize the life of these people in the above paragraph are not just part of history and this is exactly how God worked and still work today. May God help us put our selfishness away and learn to follow His plan for our lives before we end up wasting our time on earth.