This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at what your plans are designed to accomplish. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.
(8) What are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish?
This is another way to size up what you are after. The egocentricity lurking within even the most noble-sounding plans can be appalling. No one ever asserts,” The expansion of our church into a mega-church will get me fame, wealth, and power,” but such motives are garden-variety human nature. Their presence, even covertly, will pervert and stain one’s actions.
We should realize that by asking ourselves what our plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions are designed to accomplish will allow us to search out our true motivations for our actions. Our plan may be to do something noble, such as expanding our church. But we may be expanding our church for the wrong reasons. We need to check our motivations by asking ourselves what are we hoping to accomplish. Our human nature is geared toward self promotion and pride, so we must proceed with caution in all of our actions.
Another example may drive the point home better. Helping out at the local homeless shelter is a noble way to spend our time, but if we serve at the shelter with the intention of promoting ourselves to our community as a kind and charitable person, so we will be recognized or praised, even if the recognition or praise we are seeking is subtle, we have allowed our sinful nature to creep in and affect our intentions.
We must repent by meditating on the gospel. The gospel message teaches us that Christ humbled Himself to the point of death. He faced the cross for our sins. On the cross He atoned for our unrighteousness. Jesus could have followed His own agenda, worked off of His own plan, but He did not. Rather, He followed His Father’s plan. A plan that was designed to bring glory to God.
Christ’s death frees us from the bondage of sin. When we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are given the power to resist sin, giving us the ability to glorify God through our actions. Since we have been freed from the bondage of sin, we should seek to be like His Son and glorify God, rather than ourselves.
Since Christ has given us the power to cast down our fleshly desires and passions, we should desire to be obedient to God (1 Peter 1:13-21). This obedience includes exalting God over ourselves.
Next time we make plans, we should ask ourselves if our ultimate end is to glorify ourselves or the Lord.
Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider what your plans are designed to accomplish: Matt. 6:32-33; 2 Tim. 2:22.
All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.