Goals keep the world going round! Well okay, I suppose God keeps the world going around, in reality, but goals sure do help humans improve their life and the world around them. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has goals set in their life that they are pursuing to make their world better. Some of these goals are big dreams, like becoming an astronaut, owning your own business, or playing in the NFL. While other goals are smaller, they are still important to the person setting them, like finding the perfect prom dress, making the baseball team, or getting hired at the movie theater for a first summer job. There are a wide variety of goals set with the belief that once reached, life will be better.
Recognizing how we can improve our quality of life is a powerful opportunity; however, we need to be aware of the dangers and temptations that come with this power. Improving, reaching goals, and accomplishing success is great and wonderful unless we disappoint God in the process. While Jesus is preaching the “Sermon on the Mount,” he lists the beatitudes, describing how the citizens of His kingdom were going to need to approach life. Most of these are the opposite of what we would naturally think to do. This is largely because the world seems to preach and proclaim the exact opposite.
In Matthew 5:5, Jesus says the meek will be blessed and inherit the earth. This is certainly not what the world preaches. The word “meek” means to be gentle or humbly submissive. The meek aren’t going to aggressively seek their own goals at the expense of hurting others or even to elevate themselves above other people. The world suggests pursuing goals at all costs, but this is not a Christ-like action. The idea to pursue our own agendas in order to get ahead is appealing, but that isn’t Christ-like. Christ came to earth with one goal—to redeem His people. If we have been redeemed, we should live for Christ. This means we need to elevate others over our own interest, goals, and pursuits.
This seems like a daunting sacrifice— leaving the Christian behind in life, never to accomplish anything. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason for our meekness is an overwhelming trust in God. The Christian can trust God to help us meet our goals. We don’t have to push others down to get to the top because God will help us get to the top. This is why Jesus says the meek shall inherit the earth. God is on our side, He wants us to reach our goals, and He just wants us to reach them in a way that honors Him.
For Thought and Discussion:
- What goals or dreams are you currently pursuing? (Remember they don’t have to be big.)
- Do you think God is going to help you reach your goal?
- How could you hurt someone to help yourself reach your goal? Is this something you should do?
- Are you ready to elevate others, while in pursuit of your goal?
- Have you prayed about your goal?
Michael J. Wilkins study note on Matthew 5:5, in ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2008. 1828.