So, what does that look like in real terms in the decisions of everyday life? A coach doesn’t decide for you but brings you back to your prime objective in helping you think about and decide on goals.
Johnson and College
Johnson is a young man in college. He has been taking business classes. He is very bored, floundering, and is thinking about changing majors. Does he need a push to “pump three more reps”? That is, is this simply the doldrums and hard work, and does he need to be badgered to hang in there?
In exploring his reasons for taking business he reveals that he just thinks he “ought to” because it is hard and sounds more responsible. Basically, it is about making more money in this field. He is quite excited about psychology classes but knows that a B.A. in psych is not a lucrative degree in the marketplace. I remind him that he has heard some alumni of the Business department who were quite inspirational.
For Johnson, it is a matter of prayer and self-searching that leads him to conclude that the pysch degree seems like something that points to his giftings and what he might contribute to the Body of Christ and/or ministry. Not the right conclusion for everyone, but for him, it is a motive that fits his prime directive. It makes sense in terms of his prime directive and he is now acing all his classes because he has the wind in his sails. In terms of personal goals, motivation is a key goal in its own right.
No guarantees but it also sounds like a good decision in that it assumes that the God who is with him now will be with him then; that there will be a career/ministry pathway that will include God’s financial provision. If he has made a wrong decision, God is faithful and will be with him in the outcome of his decision.
Josh and Business Goals
Josh has goals in his financial business that are largely set by the company he works for. He has to enlist a certain number of clients and do a certain dollar amount of business. So these are his goals. He is nervous about it. In fact, he has a good deal of anxiety about these goals.
In counseling Josh shares that he has indeed seen God answer prayers. And, in fact, some of them were about provision, but somehow the goals set by an outside arbiter had dislodged God from His position of being in charge. He was actually operating under a degree of subservience – something “owned” him a bit where before he was aware he belonged entirely to Christ.
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. – 1 Corinthians 7:23
So, Josh has not simply ignored the parameters of his employer but has realigned his life to the One who has always been there for him. Last year he saw Him answer prayers to complete goals for the year. Great for last year but this is an ongoing struggle, or, let’s say, a developing story of seeing his anxiety disappear as he returns, in an ongoing daily way, to a reliance on Christ, His lordship over all things, and His faithfulness to Josh.
Sometimes coaching includes the recognition that the struggle you are going through is a good struggle, the right struggle; one in which there is progress toward an outcome that is a new vista in your life.
In Part I, I promised we would include some rather lofty theology about God’s will.
Reading Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were made “in” [lit] Christ and that all things were made “through Him” and “unto” [or for] Him. That is, all things find their meaning and purpose when you reinterpret them relative to Christ.
Colossians 1:20 tells us that all things are being reconciled to God by Christ’s work. This is a huge cosmology that Paul is presenting and tells you the general direction that all things are heading.
Ephesians 1: 9-10 tells us the big cosmic plan in slightly different terms. God is bringing all things together in Christ, and therefore His will, in the world and in your life, is expressed in the furtherance of that plan.
That’s a lot of theology and a world-rocking cosmology that Paul presented to a world that had little view of ultimates. This effects how you even think about long-term goals. It’s hard to think of a single one-liner but here’s a couple of prompts:
How does my life align with God’s purposes, and what goals make sense in light of that alignment?
How is God redeeming my life and my future to bring all things in my life together in Christ?
Please contact us if we can be of help in creating or assessing your goals in light of God’s will for the cosmos and for your life in particular.
“Sleepy”, Courtesy of Yuris Alhumaydy, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Leaf Pattern”, Courtesy of Rowan Heuvel, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Fruit Box”, Courtesy of Fancycrave, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Milky Way in a Fountain”, Courtesy of bady qb, Unsplash.com, CC0 License