Money and Mindset: Christian Goal Setting Part 5

Setting goals as a Christian involves considering factors that often are less known outside Christianity. In this final article of a five-part series, we delve into two crucial aspects: money as a goal and the Christian mindset toward failure. Previously, we explored the tension between taking each day as it comes and long-term planning, the concept of sanctification as a goal, the role of the God Factor in planning, and when our word is our bond. We now examine the unique Christian perspective on financial goals and how Christians can approach setbacks.


Guest Blogger: Mark Gedeon

12/5/20234 min read

Mark Gedeon
Mark Gedeon

Guest Blogger: Mark Gedeon

Money as a Measure

Often, we see making a specific amount of money as a goal. Goals should never be entirely about money. Our primary focus is our relationship with God and others. The Bible warns us: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (money/riches) Matt 6:24. 10. And “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” 1 Tim 6:10.

What is the purpose of money? Money serves as an indicator or metric, measuring the market's willingness to pay the price you set and determining profitability by comparing income to costs. It provides a tangible measure for the business.[1]

"Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor." Proverbs 21:21

However, it's important to recognize that financial success, gauged by profit, may not align with success in the eyes of God or serve as a definitive sign of His blessings. True success encompasses broader aspects beyond monetary measures.

The Profit Tension

There is a tension in the Bible concerning making money. The parable of the talents shows that God expects us to be good stewards and make a profit (Matthew 25:14-30). Several Psalms and Proverbs speak of God’s blessings on the diligent worker. We are to make good use of our time “to redeem the time.” (Eph. 5:16).

And then there are the warnings throughout the Bible about ill-gained profits. The Bible is filled with rebuke because of the way some made their money – various injustices like stealing widow’s houses and charging interest. We know the rich young ruler walked away sorrowfully and without inheriting the kingdom of heaven, Luke 18:18-23. Former believers have left the faith “having loved this present world” 2 Tim 4:10. And James 5:1-6 warns the rich who abused others to get their riches that misery will come upon them.

We must remember the main goal in life is always relational – our relation to God and others. His will is that we become conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. 1 Tim 6:6 – 12. We are to be content with what we have and not focus on riches.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Mindset: Failure?

What should we do when things are going wrong (from our perspective)? I had a boss who “redirected” me when I mentioned we had a problem. He said: “No, we have an opportunity.” It got me thinking that God is a God who takes our failures and transforms them into growth. It is not pollyannish or blind optimism because we have God working on our behalf. “And we know that all things work together for good…” Rom 8:28. We choose whether we are going to be bitter or better.

We can take feedback from Scripture, the Holy Spirit, or a Christian brother and learn from it. Neither failure nor success are permanent in this life. We can redirect our thinking from failure to looking for what God is doing. We might ask some questions:

· What is His will?

· Am I seeking first the kingdom of God?

· Am I being faithful in the little things?

· Am I being humble and seeking to be a blessing to others? “Give and it shall be given unto you…”

· Am I praying for this to change or is this “a thorn in the flesh” that will not change?

· Does it have its own purpose that involves my becoming more Christ-like?

· Is there a better way? What am I to learn?

· Am I doing something wrong?

· Am I doing this at the wrong time?

· Whose council do I need to seek?

We should all learn from our past mistakes. Some have used the expression “to invest in the loss” (learn from it). I can see that in Phil. 3:7, 12-14

Phil 3:7, 12-14 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ… Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Final Thoughts

There is much implied in the Bible concerning goal setting. “Seeking first the kingdom of God” (Matt 6:33), implies setting a goal and moving toward it with diligence. “I press toward the mark …” (Phil 3:14) also implies having a goal and moving toward it step by step. As well as "run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb 12:1,2).

In the end, we agree with Paul to make a careful examination of your gifts/abilities and the work you have been given: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” Gal 6:4. And Covey was not wrong about “Begin with the end in mind.” And here we are.