Setting and pursuing goals is an important life skill to learn, but what kind of life goals should a Christian have?
In 1 Thessalonians 4, the apostle Paul lists several goals that followers of Jesus Christ should be working toward throughout their lives. They are…
1. Be holy. The character of our lives should reflect the holy character of our God.
2. Avoid sexual immorality. We should make it a goal to “learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (4:4).
3. Grow in “brotherly love.” In verse 10 Paul urges his audience to love their Christian brothers and sisters “more and more.”
4. Live a quiet life. Verses 11-12 say, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
5. Be filled with the hope of your eventual resurrection in Christ. Paul says in verses 13-18 that those who have died faithfully following Christ will live again – with Christ! This is a great source of hope, inspiration, and perseverance. Our goal should be to live in such a way that we can confidently say, as Paul says, that “we will be with the Lord forever” (4:17).
As individuals, we have different jobs, different life situations, and different challenges, but these goals apply to all Christ-followers. If you didn’t have any life goals before, now you have five to be working on!