“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4 NIV).
As we approach the year 2020, I can’t help but think of its symbolism for good vision. Each time we get our vision checked, we want to hear the words “20/20.” This is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.
If we are to lead our families, we must have “sharpness or clarity of vision.” This sort of vision is based on how we live our faith. If we are to “walk by faith, not by sight,“ (2 Corinthians 5:7) our vision or purpose must be clear to ourselves and our family. Our new year’s resolutions, words, and actions all must show that we are walking by faith.
The Psalmist wrote, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). God originally created man with a purpose to: 1) glorify God and enjoy fellowship with Him, 2) have good relationships and be in community with others, 3) work, and 4) have dominion over the earth. Because of man’s fall into sin, fellowship with God is not a priority for some, relationships with others are strained, we do not work as if working for the Lord, and man struggles to maintain any semblance of dominion over nature.
Our purpose is fulfilled by restoring fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. We step into this fellowship by committing ourselves to live out the Great Commission starting at home and then going outward.
As men, we should lead by example and make sure that we are setting and modeling Godly goals for our family to see. I encourage you to first pray for discernment and then communicate your goals to your family. Why did you select these goals? What process did you use to select these goals? How do you plan to achieve these goals? The answers to these questions will likely make a greater impression on your family than the goals themselves. Over time, your family will likely forget the actual goals but will remember if they were Godly goals or not and if you exhibited perseverance to achieve them.
Some Christian men are hesitant to have material goals. We are all comfortable with a goal to lose weight but might be reluctant to have a goal to get a fishing boat. I think the boat is fine as long as we are giving a full tithe to our church (putting God first), meeting the needs of our family, and plan to use the boat for rest to enjoy God’s creation, especially with our family.
Prayer: Dear God: As we approach this new year, grant us clear vision to help us establish goals that will bring honor and glory to you. Amen.
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.
Gulf South Men is a regional ministry coming along side churches and men’s ministries by offering Education, Training, Resources, Men’s Events and Mentoring to help churches build effective men’s ministry and make disciples for Christ.
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