Setting the right goal …

The philosophy of the positive-thinking, motivational speaker crowd has so infiltrated the church we’ve adopted a lot of their platitudes and language.

For example, a lot of preachers talk about being “winners.”

Wow! That’s one word I wish church leaders would STOP using in most settings. If some people are “winners,” then there must be “losers.” Who are the losers? What people did Jesus call “winners” and who did he label as “losers”?

The use of these words paint the wrong picture of what God calls us to accomplish and for the goal He has set for us.

It reminds me of a story about a youth minister who spoke about attending a Special Olympics event where handicapped children competed and demonstrated great dedication and enthusiasm. One of the events was the 220-yard dash. Contestants lined up at the starting line, and at the signal, started running as fast as they could. A boy by the name of Andrew quickly took the lead and soon was about 50 yards ahead of everyone else. As he approached the final turn he looked back and saw that his best friend had fallen and hurt himself on the track. Andrew stopped and looked at the finish line, then he looked back at his friend. People were yelling, “Run, Andrew, run!” But he didn’t. He went back to his friend, helped him up and brushed him off, and hand-in-hand they crossed the finish line together dead last.

But as they crossed the finish line, the crowd cheered wildly. That’s because there are some things more important than being a “winner.”

One of those things is love. In fact, the Apostle Paul says that was his goal for his teaching …

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith,” 1 Timothy 1:5.

Paul longed for people to know Christ. When people surrender their lives to Jesus by faith, the Spirit of God purifies our hearts and cleanses our consciences. The result is being like the One we now serve, who IS love. Love is the end goal!

That sure beats trying to be a “winner.”

What’s your end goal?