Not every goal that you set for yourself personally or for your church is a good goal or one that God’s going to bless.

So how do you know the kind of goals that God will bless? You can start by asking yourself these questions:

“Will my goal honor God?”

What kind of goal brings glory to God? Any goal that causes you to trust him more, to depend on him more, to love him more, to love other people more, to serve God, to serve others, and to be more unselfish.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God” (CEV). Everything can be done to honor God. You can take out the garbage to honor God. You can wash dishes to honor God. You can study for a test to honor God. How? By doing it with the right motive: gratitude. If you want your life to bring honor to God, make sure your goals help you be the best you can be for God’s glory.

“Is my goal motivated by love?”

God is not going to bless a goal motivated by greed, envy, guilt, fear, or pride. But he does honor a goal that is motivated by a desire to demonstrate love to him and to others, because life is all about learning how to love.

Why is it important to have goals that are based on love?

Because if you set loveless goals, you’re going to treat people as projects. You’re going to run all over them to get to your goal. You’re going to run over your marriage, your friends, your congregation, and other people as you climb up the ladder of success. God says, “No. You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about accomplishments. It’s about relationships. It’s about learning how to love.”

First Corinthians 16:14 reminds us to, “do everything in love” (NIV). The number one goal in your life should be to learn to really love—your family, neighbors, and people who are hard to love. That will make you more like God, because God is love.

So next time you set a personal or ministry goal, make sure that your goals both honor God and are motivated by love.