Like many others, I want to be a well-traveled, well-educated, and well-cultured individual. I want to be remembered as a woman who left a positive mark on the world. I even have a list of “Yolo Goals” for myself that includes publishing a book of poems & artworks, speaking at a TED Talk conference, and attending an Ivy League. I want to do a lot because I like a lot of things and I just so happen to have that (crazy?) restless and ambitious personality to complement my long list of goals. I know that all of these goals are inherently good. Being ambitious is also an awesome, blessed trait to have. However, sometimes I just have to stop myself and ask, “Is self-glorification my end goal in life?”
Is self-glorification your end goal in life? Maybe you’ve asked yourself that question once or twice, or maybe it sort of came to you as a more abstract idea while you were pondering on how to be successful in the future. Maybe you ignored it, like what I did the first couple of times it crossed my mind. Who cares about my end-goal in life? I asked myself to rebut my conscience. As long as I’m somehow making a good or inspiring impact in the end, so what if I glorify myself in the process? Sounds like a real plan, until I drove myself to near depression by trying to chase after success and happiness. I found out the difficult way that I shouldn’t be the center of my world. Self-glorification shouldn’t be my end goal because, ironically, it would just make me miserable in the end. I’m just not wired that way, and here’s the truth of the matter: neither are you.
I believe that God wired us to be social beings for a greater purpose: to bring glory to Him by loving others the way Christ loves us. With that said, I’m not going to preach to you on how to be altruistic. I’m sure you’ve heard all about how you should put others before yourself and all of those inherently good and moralistic principles. I just want to remind you of the revelation that changed my perspective entirely and turned me into a less self-centered person from the inside out. I want to remind you of the calling you’ve received from God to glorify His name through your choices and actions. I choose to call this “having visible faith.” Faith is in itself an invisible entity, but it could be manifested in visible ways. A person with visible faith would demonstrate his or her faith through setting life goals that would bring the ultimate glory back to God.
For me, it was truly not an overnight process, but a highly convicting spiritual journey. I realized that in the midst of my goal-making process, I’ve completely and utterly pushed Christ out of the picture. I had forgotten that he had given me this new life and this second chance. I had forgotten the person who saved my life. He confronted me through His convictions that I was placing myself at the center of my own universe, and it was reflected through my numerous lists of self-glorifying goals. I want to challenge you to change your goals to glorify Him instead. Although visible faith starts with a change of heart, which is something that only God can do in you, you can actually start by asking Him to change your heart. If you want to experience life to the abundance or if you desire to see a higher purpose to your goals, ask God to change your heart. As He softens your heart and humbles you, you will naturally want to revolve your life around His will and His best interests because you’ll know that living for God will bring you so much more joy than living for yourself. When you finally remove yourself from the center of your life and place Christ in that position, suddenly all your goals will be so much more meaningful and fulfilling. You will start living out what you were designed to do, and that makes all the difference.
I could still strive to do a lot of the same things as before, such as publishing an art portfolio or speaking at a renowned event, but now I would do them with Godlier intentions. Trust me, it makes a difference. I would no longer be doing these things simply to cross them out of my notebook or to make myself feel accomplished, but I would be doing them to bring glory to God. If He were at the center of my focus, I would tweak my artworks, speeches, poetic topics, etc., in a way that would somehow glorify Him—and, in turn, I would experience life to the abundance (the way it was meant to be experienced!). When your faith is manifested in your goals and your actions, others will recognize that and God will honor that. Perhaps the most liberating and inspiring revelation is to know that God’s recognition is far better than any glory you could receive from humanity. Even more, having God-centered goals will create a greater impact in the long run because everything we do for Him will have eternal significance. I encourage you to live a purpose-driven, eternally significant life that would bring joy to Him and to those around you.