• Gail Armatys


There are probably many questions you'd like answers to from people who may or may not deliver. There are also many questions you'd probably like to receive answers to from God. Some, he's already put in writing (Scripture) for you. Others, he's likely responded to through your experiences, other people, or a gentle whisper. Still other answers won't be known until you meet him face-to-face.

But there's one fundamental question you can and should answer yourself... ASAP... to guide you in living your best, most meaningful life. What's the question?

What's my overarching life goal?

That's it. It seems like a simple question to answer. One we glance toward at the beginning of the year as we set our goals for our work, personal lives, and ministries and one we can easily drift from without really answering. God's taught me over the years (I tend to take the long, circular, repetitive route) that there's more significance to my goals than my desire to accomplish what's well-meaning, good, and honorable. It's the 'why' behind the goal that matters.

As in all things, it's the fundamentals that position us for success. For us? The main foundational 'why' is to bring glory to God in whatever and everything (1 Cor. 10:31).

To say it another way, as believers our overarching life goal is purposed to bring glory to God.

To know and live God's best for us we must begin with this fundamental in whatever and everything we dream and do. Maybe this seems harsh. But while God desires and demands our worship and all the glory, his loving ways always benefit and guide us.

Here are three ways your overarching goal, whatever you determine it to be, guides you.

1. Helps You Define Your Priority

Your overarching goal defines what's most important to you. For example, we see different umbrella goals exhibited in two stories leading up to Jesus' death on the cross.

  • The story of Judas' betrayal of Jesus in the Garden in exchange for payment reveals his priority is not his relationship with his Messiah but rather his preference for more money (Luke 22).

  • Then, we see "a sinful woman" washing Jesus' feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair. Her over-arching goal was to honor Christ. (Luke 7).

In these two stories the different priorities are easy to distinguish from each other. In the first story, Judas himself was his priority. This played out in his desire for and receipt of the material things (money). In the woman's story, her goal was to love and honor Jesus by submitting herself to his service...no strings attached.

When we work toward anything we desire or decide is meaningful in our lives, it's wise to ask: What's my priority in doing or achieving this?

2. Helps You Discern Your Motivations

Setting goals is important to keep ourselves on target, moving forward, and stop us from drifting aimlessly through our days, years, and lives. And, discerning our motivations behind our goals is one thing God is very interested in.

But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.

Jeremiah 17:10

In our two stories of Judas and the "sinful woman" we not only see their differing overarching goals by each one's priority as played out by their actions, but their separate motivations become clear, too.

  • Judas was motivated by personal gain and achievement driven by selfishness; otherwise known as pride.

  • The woman who washed Jesus' feet was motivated by love. She wanted to be there with Jesus and had to have relinquished all selfishness and pride to sit at his feet and serve him in her brokenness.

As you review your goals for the day, month, and year ask yourself: What's my true motive?

3. Helps You Examine Your Relationship With Jesus

Your decided relationship (and mine) to Christ is the one thing that separates the wheat from the chaff (Matthew 3:12). It's the thing that matters most in all we do.

Again, reflecting on the two biblical stories, we see Judas definitely did not know and love Jesus enough to resist the devil (Satan entered into Judas Iscariot. Matt. 22:3; Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7) and fulfill his selfish desire—the end goal of becoming wealthier and perhaps making a name for himself. Whatever his initial relationship with Jesus, he distanced himself enough from the one who called him friend and brother so he could betray him.

The humble woman, though, drew close. She wanted to be with him in the most sincere, wholehearted way. She made no secret of her love for him and was not ashamed of showing her affection and deep emotion for him. This woman shared her innermost thoughts of him to all present by her humble sacrifice for him, just as he would soon do for her...and as he did for us.

As you prepare to move on and accomplish your goals ask this question: What does my goal reflect about my relationship with Jesus?

Your Coaching Question

What is your overarching life goal?