My daughter frequently uses the phrase #RelationshipGoals to describe a couple who seem to have it all together. These are the couples who demonstrate a unique kind of love that makes your eyes sparkle, tummy tingle, and your toes curl.
The other day as I drove to work, I saw a couple jogging in the crisp fall air. Their steps were perfectly in sync and he was smiling at her as she was talking.
I instantly thought – “#RelationshipGoals”. Almost immediately it was followed with - “But is it really?”
Don’t get me wrong, the thought of jogging with my husband sounds great! I want to get physically fit and I want to spend more time with him. But I really hate running of any kind. I mean, if you see me running, you better start running too, because I am likely running from something!
A goal requires effort. You set a target, create a plan, and then work the plan!
What’s a goal?
Webster defines goals as The final purpose or aim; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or attain.
I get that. But for me, I think a keyword is missing from that definition.
The part of the definition that’s missing, is having your heart set on the goal, even more so than your head. To achieve a goal, I need to desire it with all my heart. That’s what keeps me going when my head makes up excuses convincing me to stop. My heart’s desire is what fuels my fire and motivates me to take the next small step toward the goal.
It’s all Heart
I am so convicted when I think about this verse,
...for where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Our treasure, or where we spend (or don’t spend) our money and time, is an indication of our heart and what we honestly desire or value in our lives.
Even more so, our heart’s desires directly relate to our relationship with God. Just as we decide how much to spend on replacing an appliance, or how much to put into retirement, we also have to decide how much money we will give to the church. Even to give nothing is a conscious decision.
When we give to the church, something happens that is far beyond paying for salaries, program costs, and mission trips. When we give to God’s church, we place our heads and our hearts in a posture of humility in front of God. When we give, whether our budget is tight or if it’s abundant, our heartfelt gift is a way of trusting God as our ultimate provider. When we give, we boldly declare that no matter what is going on around us, our hope and trust are rooted in Christ and he will supply all our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19).
What’s Mine is His
When we give to the local church, we are “giving back” to God what is really his, to begin with. Everything we have has been given to us by God to steward well; whether it is our health, time, children, jobs, homes, or money.
We affirm our relationship to God through the decisions we make. As his stewards, giving decisions are a matter of thinking and praying through how he wants us to allocate his money and the blessings he has given us.
I think about the incredible relationship the widow had in Luke. The widow gave all that she had to the church, and it was very little because she was poor. In some minds, she gave more than she should have because she didn’t have enough to live on. For others, the amount she gave was so small, in their minds, her contribution couldn’t have made much of a difference for the kingdom.
Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. Luke 21: 1-4
God doesn’t care what amount we give. He cares about our hearts and the spirit with which we give. The widow gave out of worship and demonstrated that she trusted God to provide for all her needs. Her gift was not one of excess, or an amount that she wouldn’t miss. Even though her gift was small compared to other’s gifts, it was everything she had. Even so, her heart was light because she trusted God to provide and she could live confidently knowing that God would take care of her.
A Change of Heart
Can you imagine what it would be like to be motivated to give to the church not out of guilt or perceived obligation but more out of our heartfelt love and relationship with God? How freeing that would be!
If we change our mindset and give as stewards, involving him in the process, we will experience a sense of intimacy with God that all followers of Christ long for. Giving becomes worship. Giving becomes a way of saying thanks to God for His grace and promised provision. Giving becomes a deep part of our personal connection to God.
That, my friend, is true #RelationshipGoals!