As we engage in the practice of medicine, we inevitably formulate professional goals, either consciously or unconsciously. Years ago, I learned the danger of goals from Dr. Larry Crabb, an author and well-known psychologist. He pointed out that while goals are common, often they are not spiritually healthy because we often transform them into something on which our worth and significance depend.
Professional goals can become idols.
We establish a goal when we tell ourselves that something must happen in order for us to achieve success or happiness. We essentially are saying that success depends on achieving that goal. We have thus made our worth, significance and security dependent upon that goal.
Dr. Crabb suggested that rather than establishing goals, we should instead delineate desires. The difference between a desire and a goal is simple, yet can save us a great deal of emotional pain.
A desire is something we would like to see occur in our life, but we don’t allow our worth, significance or security to depend on it. Instead, we make it our goal to please the Lord who has already bestowed our worth, significance and security upon us.
Then we have only one goal…and leave the rest simply as desires.
Prayer: Lord, help me make my one goal to please You!