I’ll include all the questions I asked in case you want to use them for your own goals, but I’ll only include some of my answers so my post isn’t too long.
1. What would you like to accomplish?
2. What will you need to do to accomplish it?
3. Is it a given that if you do what you need to do, you’ll be successful?
No. I’ll only be successful if God either allows it or gives it to me. I have to realize that everything I do comes from Him, and He’s in charge. I can’t guarantee success and it’s presumptuous of me to think I should be able to have it guaranteed.
4. Is it a given that if you do what you need to do, you’ll be more likely to succeed?
5. If you want to reach this goal, what risks will you need to take?
I will need to risk money (i-phone apps and e-books), time, reputation, people thinking I’m a know-it-all, and people condemning and judging me.
6. What will you need to accept?
That I might fail. That I might go to all this work and sacrifice and never achieve the success I desire. That people might condemn me or dislike me in the process.
7. If you do all that you need to do and still fail, can God use that situation for good in your life?
8. What could He teach you through failure?
To see life through His eyes. To see what’s really important. To have the same heart for His people that He has. To sacrifice with a willing-to-die-for-others love. To let go of my idols – my “right” to the fair life, my desire to be validated, my need to be liked. To appreciate the beauty of sharing in the fellowship of His suffering and walking with Him on the sidelines.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal after listing all of the above benefits of failure: It looks like failure might be the best option!
9. Are you willing to take the risks you need to take to reach your goal?
10. Are you willing to make the effort you’ll need to make to reach this goal?
I think so.
11. What can you thank God for?
His truth, His clarity, His selflessness, His love, His sovereignty, His holiness, that He doesn’t let me get away with sin, that He doesn’t only care about me helping others – He also cares about me and He wants to protect my love for Him, His knowledge, His wisdom, His insight, His habit of using all things for good – even failure.
Whenever I journal on this subject, I start out feeling selfish and entitled. I end up feeling thankful, repentant, and willing to die to love others well. This is a hard area to overcome because we’ve been so instilled with our culture’s ideas that life is about us – and that we deserve to be rewarded for our efforts. The only way I can hang onto God’s attitude in this area is to cling to His Word and keep going back to it every time I need an adjustment.