God wants us to grow continuously. Parents are pleased when their children grow well. When a child ceases to grow, the heart of the parents aches. Whenever parents see their beloved children not grow to their full potential, they become distressed. God is the good Father. Therefore, God is pleased when He sees our constant growth. To grow is to change. To grow is to be mature. To grow is to reach out. To grow means to be mature and fully developed. Growth leads to the expansion of our influence.

Growth does not happen spontaneously. Growth is intentional. Growth begins with determining the area in which you want to grow. It should not just stop with the desire to grow. You need to choose to grow and challenge yourself. When it’s the New Year, many people challenge themselves to new goals and implement them. As we have experienced, we see that some goals are achieved while other goals are given up in three days of less. If you repeat the experience of failing to achieve your goal, you may even give up on setting goals. But that is not wise. Just because you could not achieve goals you set, you need to be careful that you do not give up on setting up goals.

We cannot achieve all the goals we set. However, as we look back on our life journey, we can know that many goals have been achieved. We must remember those very experiences. Then, we must challenge ourselves again and again. While, some goals are achieved easily, other achievements take a much longer time than our first thought. If you live carrying a specific goal in your heart like a seed, some day you will be amazed that your goal has been achieved. After setting a goal and failing to achieve it, we need to seriously look at the reason. In order to set goals and achieve them, we need wisdom. We call it a strategy. What strategies are needed in order to set and achieve goals? I want to share some lessons learned through my experiences.

First, it is good to have a strong desire for goals. There is a strong desire hidden deeply inside us all. That desire must be discovered. God leaves a desire in us and does great works (Phil. 2:13). In praying to God, meditating on the Word, and deeply reflecting on ourselves, we must find a strong desire. The stronger the desire is, the more likely it is to come true.

Second, it is better to set specific goals. Specific goals come from specific interests. Specific goals result in specific results. It is difficult to achieve goals that are not clearly focused. Vague goals produce vague results.

Third, write down your specific goals. You can clearly see what you want to accomplish when you write down your specific goals. The moment we write down our specific goals, those goals will be deeply rooted in our minds. If possible, read the written specific goals as often as you can. Also, pray to God that He will achieve the specific goals. Then, God will help you with various resources to help you achieve your specific goals.

Fourth, set a plan to set specific goals. In the process of achieving the goals, having specific plan is very important. When you put your plan into action, it is good to divide it into small pieces. No matter how great the goal, when it is divided into small parts and moved into action, it is surely doable. Do not be afraid of failure but give it a try.

Fifth, challenge yourself repeatedly with patience until you achieve the goal. Achieving a goal is not easy. But we will experience mysterious joy when we try to achieve our goals with tenacity. When God created man, He placed the instinct of growth in him. This is why people are full of joy when they are growing. There is no age that is too old to grow. Growth is gained through learning. In the New Year set a new goal. Make a specific plan to achieve the new goal. Put that plan into action.

I’ve said that growth is change. Change through growth means to change for the better. Our church motto for 2017 is “A Community that Prepares the Future through Resting and Learning”. Through resting and learning, I hope you will grow more beautifully and more excellently than ever before. In the New Year, may your families be filled with the overflowing grace of God.

Joshua Choon Min Kang
(Photo : Courtesy of New Life Vision Church)

Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.