Blog Archive

Monday, March 21, 2011

Goals and Purpose, Success and Significance

"Success is to reach a goal.
Significance is making a difference in the lives of others over time."
~ Chip MacGregor

Photo Credit: Dan Norcott

I work best on deadlines. When I hear the clock running, I push through distractions and stretch to reach a goal. Few things motivate like a goal within sight. Few things satisfy like the sense of completion when a goal is met.

But super-goals risk becoming gods, requiring all else be laid down before them. We admire the MVP athlete, the virtuoso musician, the best-selling author. We do not see what price they paid to reach their goals. We know that for too many superstars, all else in life has come second.

At some point, their goals became their purpose.

Life has taught me hard lessons about setting goals. Many goals prove unworthy. Others have merit but can interfere with purpose.

The most important goal there can be is to make sure our call and election to eternal life through Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:10). Having secured this goal, one can better understand one's purpose:

"But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
~ Exodus 9:16 (NKJV)

My purpose is to love and glorify God. Part of that purpose is making His glory known by sharing His love with others.

Goals motivate me to achieve my purpose. I pray for success as I stretch to meet those goals.

But if the goals become my purpose, I will find that I've settled for success rather than achieved significance.

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it, lest [others] mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
... So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple."
~ Luke 14:28-33 (NKJV)

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This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You're invited to visit his site and see what others are saying about today's theme: Goals.

Comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are welcome. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. I am reminded of when the Apostle Paul said, I have run the race! His eye was on the goal and he made it! May I also finish my course with joy! Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

  2. Hi so glad to have found your blog, love it. Your heart for God radiates throughout your blog.


  3. I also tend to work better under stress and deadlines, but I'm sure sometimes God looks at me and says 'Child slow down, you are making me dizzy!' It is hard to remember that a completed to do list doesn't equate to purpose.

  4. I spent a few days in FL. w/ my mom recently and these were the things God laid on my heart.

    Beautiful. Love Chip's quote!
    ~ Wendy

  5. Hazel Moon ~

    You make me smile with the words "neither count I my life dear unto myself." It is not easy, but it is a goal above goals.

  6. Angela ~

    Thank you! I'm delighted that Jesus shines here. Thanks for following. "UNABLE" is a great label, because it speaks to all the power coming from God in our weakness. :D

  7. Tracey ~

    I've heard it said that it's better to burn out for God than be lukewarm. The happy place of being on fire for Him with a long sustained burn isn't an easy place to find. But if Mary chose the "better part," I intend to keep looking for it too.

  8. Wendy ~

    You've been on my heart, and in my prayers. I hope you and your mom had a special time of sharing memories, love, and faith. ♥

  9. "My purpose is to love and glorify God. Part of that purpose is making His glory known by sharing His love with others."...And you do that so well right here Anne.

    Where is the beautiful cemetary pic taken? I really like your header pic also (I'm a woodsy so I love forest pix)

  10. Connie ~

    Thank you for the kind words. When we fall short in so many areas, it is encouraging to hear that we acheive our purpose where it counts.

    My apology for originally providing only a photo link at the bottom of the post. That gorgeous cemetery photo is "Graveyard above Porthmeor, St Ives." I expanded the photo credit and included a direct link to the photographer (Dan Norcott), right here and also in my post. Dan has some gorgeous photos on his blog if you care to take a look.

    The new header pic is my desktop background (from Windows Vista), and the background is courtesy of Blogger. I'll make it a point to reload the header photo with an appropriate watermark. I try to be conscientious about giving credit where credit is due. This time, you caught one of those "fall short" things I was just talking about. : (

  11. A very needful reminder, Anne. It's too easy to forget this truth. Thank you.

  12. Jason ~

    You sometimes make me catch my breath just watching how much you manage to accomplish. You're a wonderful encourager. If you need the reminder, I hope it's to remember that the significance you're achieving for the Lord IS your success! : )


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