This post is part of a series. If you haven’t read Part One yet, go here to read the first post.
Now that we have established the things that only we can do, we can get a little more specific. My brain likes to simplify things and put them into boxes. Here are the three main areas of life which virtually everyone has:
Our personal lives are truly ours to control. Of course, if you are a Christian as I am, you know that God has ultimate control over your life. However, much of the “work” of growth depends upon our dedication to it.
While the Personal category could include a lot of things, mine is basically broken down into my Spiritual Life, Health and Rest. These are the areas where your “oxygen mask” is important. The things which you must do to take care of yourself so you can care for others effectively.
Your relationship with God is crucial to your overall health and accomplishing your goals. In the book he wrote with his daughter Chrystal Evans Hurst, Kingdom Woman, Tony Evans remarks:
“What sets a kingdom woman apart from any other woman boils down to her fear of God. Her reverence determines her actions, thoughts, words, and priorities. Without that, the demands of life would overwhelm any woman.”
Our physical health is closely related to our spiritual health and an integral part of accomplishing our goals. It is essential that we care for our temples to the best of our ability so the Holy Spirit can work in and through us. A body broken by neglect and overindulgence cannot be as effective for the Kingdom of God as a healthy and whole one dedicated to God’s purposes.
Poor health, disease and sickness are part of the curse of the Fall. Each of us will be touched by them at some point. However, we are responsible to do all in our power to care for our physical bodies and leave the rest with God.
I’ve written before about rest and how necessary it is to good spiritual and physical health. We often mistakenly think that meeting our goals requires a breathless pace of constant action. That is not God’s plan for us. He desires us to take a regular daily and weekly rest as well as longer periods of time as He enables us.
When you add other people into your life, goals become a bit more complicated. You can make goals regarding your marriage, for example, but you do not have ultimate control over the outcome. Your husband has a bit to say about it, too!
I value the people in my life and want to build meaningful relationships with them. I live with five of them, so my personal goal-setting must include those people. I look to the things that only I can do first, so my husband and children are top priority on my list. However, I have a responsibility to be the best daughter, sister, aunt and friend I can be as well. My goals usually include those people in some way.
For those that work outside the home or are involved in ministry, this category may look a little different. Most jobs and ministries involve people on some level, and they may be part of your goals in some way.
While the other categories may have a lot of similarities from person to person, this one is highly individual. There is a reason each of us are put upon Earth. I have never been successful at making a specific mission statement for myself. However, this category has three main areas to consider:
This one is first on my list because I consider it my highest calling. I am to guard and manage my home according to Titus 2. Creating a haven of beauty and comfort and caring for those that God has entrusted to me are worthy purposes. Many try to demean homemaking and caring for and teaching children. However, I consider them privileges and the tasks in which I aspire to be my best.
This would probably be my husband’s top priority. My management of the home releases him to put his energies into providing for us. However, many women also juggle this category. I even do to some extent since I do a little work from home. I try very hard to put this as a priority only after my home duties are cared for.
Some are called into full-time ministry such as pastoring or missionary work. For those people, this may be more under the career category.
However, all of us are called to minister and be witnesses for the Lord. Once we have cared for our own families and responsibilities, God asks us to be faithful stewards of His Kingdom.
This category is perhaps the most individual of all of them. Church ministry is only the beginning. We are called to carry His light to our communities and the world. There are many ways to do this. God will be faithful to show us what He wants us to do as a specific ministry to others.
ACTION STEP: Look at the three main areas of life and flesh out your own personal specifics. What personal obligations do you have? What people are in your life? What is your God-given purpose in the areas of your home, career and ministry? As I suggested last week, write them down. This will help you to build a plan of action to grow this year.