In foolishness, we choose goals that alleviate or create new emotions and feelings of satisfaction. Often, I’ll get behind on tasks and become very anxious about them. They may not even be a high priority but I’ll stop what’s necessary to alleviate the feeling of having too much to do.
Setting a goal is risky to some people, and there are those who won’t make the commitment. A goal means some action will be attached to it, whether identified specifically or not. When the goal to start this class was put into place, I felt excitement and anticipation to learn how to “help” others. After learning that I can’t and shouldn’t fix others, and what the goal of SoulCare is, I’m now a bit apprehensive. This emotion is part of a confidence issue as well as a learning curve. I’m certain that the first time I point someone to a deeper relationship with God, my emotion will be gratitude.
One of the goals in life I have had was to be very, very good at something, to be an expert. I wanted to be an expert in music. My strategy to that was to become a conductor and a pianist, and a successful concert become my singular joy in life. But after I got my Masters, it occured to me that I was not as talented as I thought I was and I had a temperament that was not suited to becoming a professional conductor. This self-awareness of the limitations of my own talents, led to great disappointment in myself. I ended up as a High School music teacher, and I conducted the school band, but at time I really feel the regret of what could have been. Sometimes I feel regret for having chosen music for my career, and sometimes I regret not pushing myself harder professionally and ‘settling’ to become a music teacher.
Goals are often use to suppress emotions
I will share a goal I am currently aware of. I am struggling in a relationship that is important to me. I feel scared of losing it, and try to feed it in ways that are not motivated by love. I do kind deeds, say words that are nice etc, but my deeper goal is to manipulate the person to stay in relationship with me, not true love. My goal needs to be to relate with her, out of a deeper goal. The deepest goal in my soul must be to find and know God. This is the truest thirst in my soul.
I want to reuse the Illustration of being in debt. The goal of being in debt was to get out of debt. The emotions I felt for being in that position was despair. I felt like I was a slave. I was however feeling determined because of a deeper desire of necessity in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
The goals we choose are typically a result of our perception of past experiences and events. Experiences that leave us feeling happy and satisfied become our goal, or alternately, bad experiences result in our goal to achieve the opposite of those experiences. Unfortunately, in our fallen state these goals become our most important desires as we naturally and foolishly try to do life independent of God. We are not even aware of the only goal which will bring us true satisfaction and wholeness, an understanding of our purpose in God’s plan and a real, intimate relationship with God.
Growing up I was an introvert, quiet, unassuming and unnoticed. I always felt like the unpopular, lonely girl. Unconsciously, when I got married, my primary desire and goal was love, understanding and fulfillment from my husband. As Dr. Crabb said, it was an important desire which I had made to be a desire of necessity. The result is exactly as Dr. Crabb presented, a feeling of loss of freedom, anger and frustration. I have started to realize that God must be first, but these lessons have bought much clarity to my understanding.
It is easy to choose goal that gives us satisfaction, knowing that we have what it takes to accomplish the expected results. Therefore, I had been teaching Sunday School for young children for many years, feeling I could “master” it with ease. Little did I know before I got too complacent, I was asked to give a sermon on Sunday School Sunday, took up the Sunday School ministry at church. Since that time, I had been teaching Sunday schools for all ages. Each time feeling my own inadequacy and scrumbling to get classes going. Over and over, God has His own way to bring me on my knees to rely on Him and otherwise nothing else would work.
I described this to some extent in the second discussion question. I grew up in a home where I cant recall ever being hugged or told I was loved. My parents loved me but the only time I really felt like they really approved of me was when I performed well. I was pretty fair as a soloist in church and also did pretty well in school. When I did those things well and got praise for them, that’s when I experienced good feelings and a sense of “this is what I need to do to feel good about myself. “
As image-bearers who are given the capacity to feel in a fallen world, (not the world we were designed for), our feelings range from positive emotions to negative emotions. With this in mind, we will choose goals that will increase the positive emotions as well as avoid goals that lead to negative emotions. Since our capacity to choose and our capacity to feel have both been corrupted by the fall, we will in our own ability and not be dependent on God, fail in the attempt to make life work. An example for me is that in my learned foolishness, I believed that no one can be trusted and I need to take care of myself. To depend on me for protection, for survival, for life. No one is going to do it for me. As a result I keep people at a safe distance and don’t let others into my soul…at least not too far in.
We tend to choose goals that will make us feel good. Sometimes God chooses to put us through trials to refine us. I loved being able to be a caretaker as a nurse, a minister in the jail, and working with children. These roles limited me and God wanted growth so he brought me out of them or more accurately to take a break from them to help me grow and to be able to use his giftings in more effective ways better and more often. I am still seeking which is the direction to take – continue working or retirement to be able to minister in ways that will bring the most fruit.
Confident through competence in a ‘result-oriented’ culture – hence raising the bench-mark is often a personal goal. It goes down well with some, but it also led to adverse reactions that caused me to be displaced. Confidence continues to co-exist with anxieties as I seek the next meaningful placement. What is my goal? A sustainable livelihood (legitimate), A supportive work environment (legitimate), a journey that reflects my faith and relationship in God (legitimate). Apparently, the pace of waiting during this time is slow, much slower… How do I feel? the tension of confident in God and anxieties of life – at the same time.
We tend to move in the direction of our emotions. For instance, the thing that we desire the most is the thing that we will move towards. As a child I longed to be accepted and valued among my peers. I believed that this would bring true happiness and fulfillment, so I studied how to reach that goal. I behaved in a way that would help me to be liked. My heart told me that acceptance is the single most important thing in life so my behavior constantly worked towards that goal.
We choose many relationships, jobs, and health choices thinking they will make and fulfill our life with happiness and fulfillment, the grass looks greener on the other side, but we always ill loose when we make them the necessity rather than a journey path, God is the sole keeper and relator of our true happiness, only though Him may we find peace and joy, but as we journey on earth, through the quagmires of life were distracted and create places of false joy and peace, they determine are reactions and alter our true form because we looked away from our true source of strength and joy, corruption is rampant but we are Image bearers and we need to seek that image into fully live! Thank you Lord Jesus for being able to do so…..
If I feel safe and secure, loved and appreciated in my marriage I will do whatever is in my power to deep that. If I feel threatened or unhappy my goal changes to do I need to stay? What do I deserve? What will make me happy? If I feel appreciated when I speak or teach, then I will pursue more of that if I that is my goal. Serving behind the scenes may not give me the same appreciation so I avoid that.