Since 1997 I have consulted with parents about home education. The three most frequent questions are what curriculum to use, what it costs and what about socialization. I usually answer these questions with one of my own: what are your goals for your children’s education? Knowing where you are heading gives context to the questions asked and goals determine choices.
So where are you heading and what are your goals? If we know and love the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, we may have the assurance that we are heading for heaven. This begs the question, if we know where we are going, do we indeed need goals? Peter answers us with the quote given above.
There are goals couched in these encouraging words: to be effective and productive servants of the Lord. The goal is not mere knowledge of Christ, but to be effective and productive in that knowledge. Our goal is to hear “well done, good and faithful servant.” In other words, as well as knowing where we want to go, it matters how we get there.
There are so many aspects of the Christian walk that need development in order to obtain these goals that it may help to focus on one at a time. We are never what we ought to be and sometimes the sum total of our deficiencies can be quite overwhelming! Thus if we focus on one particular area of development, we will be encouraged to continue when we see that we have made progress in one area. For example, if anger prevents an effective and productive life in Christ, then self-control should be the focus of study, prayer and practice for a while.
We need not limit our goals to the character development listed in our passage. Personal spiritual goals can include a greater commitment to the means of grace, spending more time reading scripture, walking away from that which you know hinders your Christian growth, doing things we don’t particularly like doing with good cheer. Whatever we need to work on, let’s do it and leave a legacy that is a witness to the grace of God. May the Lord help us to run the race with purpose, achieving much for the kingdom of God to the glory of his name.