Where is your heart in 2010?

Posted on January 2, 2010. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom | Tags: |

“for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:21

It never ceases to amaze me how another year has come and gone so quickly.  Yet the experiences and memories which have been interwoven into the fabric of the quilt which is our lives will remain an indelible part of who we are and how we view the world in which we live.

Reflecting, as one often does at the beginning of a new year, in terms of where we are and where we hope to be, Matthew 6:21 for me, took on a new meaning.

Even though I have read the verse many, many times before, God’s word revealed a new relevance in that it serves the dual purpose of providing both a starting point and divine destination for this upcoming year.  A mark by which to set one’s compass if you will.

What do I mean?  When you know where “your treasure is,” this is your destination.

For some, this ranges from quitting smoking to losing weight through a new exercise regime and better eating habits.  For others it is setting new relationship and career/income goals.

Here’s the thing with these as well as other resolutions.  While honorable in intent, do they really reflect both sustainable and eternal values?  Sustainable, in that recent research indicates that while 52% of us feel “confident” that we will succeed in achieving our goals, statistics indicate that only 12% actually get there.

Even though there are a variety of reasons offered for the paucity of successful results, along with corresponding and well meaning recommendations for increasing one’s odds for success, I have to wonder whether it is the goals themselves that are the problem?  More specifically, our motivation for setting our individual goals in the first place.

One such motivating factor that immediately comes to mind is the “doing what is right” versus doing what we want or are drawn to do.

As Paul related in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do,” demonstrates how our desire and will is often at odds with one another.  This does not mean that wanting to quit smoking is not a worthy or even Godly goal to pursue.  After all, according to Ephesians 2:21-22, we are temples for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  So taking care of our earthly bodies is a Christian’s responsibility.

That said responsibility and adherence do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.

So what is the answer to setting one’s goals for the New Year?  From a personal perspective, it is the alignment of the goal or resolution with the will of God for your life, and the humble acknowledgment that we cannot get there on our own strength.

I have always had the tendency to equate security with financial resources.  I am not talking about material possessions, but the feeling of well-being that comes from the bills being paid on time, or having the necessary reserves to ensure peace of mind.

On the surface of course, one would immediately say these are both reasonable and responsible goals for anyone, especially with a growing family.  This of course would be a correct assumption provided that the goal itself did not usurp The True Source as our primary focus.

Specifically, goals can become either the proverbial carrot that is forever beyond ones reach, or the unfulfilled realization of unrealistic expectation if you place your reliance on their achievement over your dependence on God.

In my life, I found that despite having sold my company for $12 million dollars, and having the luxury of never really having to count pennies, I was in a perpetual state of “adding more” to assuage the fear of not having enough.

Yet, when through a series of circumstances my wealth dissipated, and I found myself (and my family) without a home or steady income, my peace of mind increased in proportion to both my surrender to and focus upon God.

In essence, having nothing after having everything which included an income that ranged between $45,000 to $75,000 each month, I found greater security in my dependence on God, than I ever had regardless of the size of my bank account.

Do not get me wrong, I am not making a call to general poverty as being the means to a closer relationship with God.  Certainly my Heavenly Father has blessed our family over the past twelve months with growing abundance.  The key however, is that I no longer focus on the abundance, but The Provider as the source of my security.  In the process I have found that I have realigned my goals, which now reflect the eternal values of my Christian faith, with His will for my life.

Whether or not I ever scale the heights of worldly affluence to the same degree I had experienced previously is no longer the “objective.”  Living my life day-by-day to the greater glory of my Lord remains the enduring quest.  In this regard, and in line with the credit card commercial, the peace and certainty that comes from this daily, monthly and yes even yearly resolution is priceless.

While I still occasionally find myself lapsing into the the Type A, fear-driven urge to accumulate wealth . . . old habits of a past nature never totally disappear, I find it much easier to get back on track with my resolution because my treasure now rests with and in the Father.  Success therefore is ultimately guaranteed.

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