Do you carry an over developed sense of responsibility? When I feel overwhelmed or weary, I usually discover I’m feeling responsible for something beyond my control. For example, my desire to do a good job can subtly turn into pressure to make someone happy or not disappoint them. The desire to do good work is admirable. However, the goal to make them happy will drive you crazy.The #desire to do good work is admirable. However, the #goal to make them happy will drive you crazy. Click To Tweet
The Difference Between a Goal and a Desire
In order to help us understand where our responsibilities end and other people’s begin, some thought leaders have delineated between a goal and a desire.
A Goal is something you want, and you control the means to reach it.
A Desire is something you want, but you don’t have control of all the variables to reach it. You need the cooperation of other people or circumstances to achieve it.
For example, let’s say you plan a special picnic for your family. You get up early to shred cheese for their favorite pimento cheese sandwiches. You hum as you spread your concoction onto slices of homemade bread. The picture of your family enjoying the fruit of your labor brings a smile as you pack a lovely quilt and colorful paper goods.
An hour before you leave, your son’s friend calls to invite him to the pool. He’s spent time with his friend but not with the family. You tell him he can go next time. Today is family time. Disappointment oozes out of his pores. His body comes to the picnic, but not his heart.
You take a deep breath and hand out lunch on fanciful paper plates. Your daughter whines, “I don’t like this kind of bread.”
You sigh. At least you have homemade chocolate chip cookies.
But when your son grabs the bag of cookies, the ones you stayed up to midnight to bake, he says they are alive. To your dismay, the seal on the bag is not tight and ants have found your cookies. Now you’re ready to cry!
Did you fail? Was your effort a complete waste? That depends.
If your goal was to make them happy, then yeah, you failed. They aren’t happy.
But if your goal was to love your family, then, well done! You are a success.
Learn from Jesus
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls’” (Matt. 11:28-29 NLT).
Jesus is gentle with us. If we learn from Him, we’ll be gentle with ourselves too. He doesn’t hold us responsible for things that lay outside our control. So, neither should we.
Any goal that requires someone else’s cooperation can be blocked by those people. God doesn’t hold you responsible for what you can’t control. He asks us to be faithful to Him.
God doesn’t measure success by how things appear but by how we live. When we love God and others through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can leave the results to God and know He is pleased with us. And who knows, our faithfulness to trust God in the presence of disappointment may be our greatest witness to a watching family and world.
Two July summits and a book:
- Rebound Your Highest: Come back stronger after the struggle.
Check out the other speakers’s topics. I’ll be speaking on “How to Turn Messy Emotions into Mighty Faith.” Register here.
- Savvy Homeschooler
- Click the picture to watch the video.
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