X-Ray Questions: Evaluating our pursuits

In an effort to help us root the idols out of our lives, I am doing a series entitled X-Ray Questions. You can view the other two posts by clicking here and here. In this post, we will focus on our aims and pursuits.

X-Ray Question

(3) What do you seek, aim for, and pursue? What are your goals and expectations?

This particularly captures that your life is active and moves in a direction. We are purposeful. Human motivation is not passive, as if hardwired needs, instincts, or drives were controlled from outside us by being “unmet,” “frustrated,” or “conditioned.” People are active verbs.

Understand

The things that we seek, aim for, and pursue, as well as the goals and expectations we set for ourselves reveal the true nature of our hearts. As humans, we are not controlled by external conditions or instincts. We are not animals. We have the ability to make decisions. Decisions that reveal the true nature of our heart.

For instance, if our life goal is to acquire a particular job or success in our career, then we will do everything and anything to make it happen. We may neglect our families, compromise our convictions, or defame a co-worker, in order to achieve the level of success we are seeking.

Our desire should be to glorify Christ, not ourselves. In glorifying Christ, we may miss a particular promotion at work, but our families will be better for it because we are able to spend more time teaching them and building them up in the Word of God. Our witness to others about Christ will be greater because our convictions are not compromised. Our relationships with our co-workers will not suffer, resulting in deeper more meaningful relationships that will hopefully allow us to either share the gospel, or build another believer up in the faith.

Repent

We repent by redirecting our pursuits towards Christ. We must value Him and His glory more than our glory. We must see Him as our provider, comforter, and from whom we gain affirmation. We must see His mission, to reach the world with gospel, as more important than our success.

As you reflect on your aims, pursuits, goals, and expectations, remember that climbing the corporate ladder is only one example. You may not struggle with that particular goal or you may be pursuing your career from a godly perspective, but that does not mean you do not struggle with something else. Other idols may include: acceptance, comfort, a new car, a perfect looking spouse, or a finely kept home. Since we cannot cover every idol, my prayer is that you will honestly reflect on your life this week to determine if any of your goals, expectations, or pursuits are taking the place of Christ.

Scripture

Reflect on these Scriptures as you seek to root this idol out of your life: Matt 6:32-33; 2 Tim 2:22

All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.

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