Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated reading time: 4 min.
The head of the Mail-Processing Department, Mr. Gaylyn Bonjour, spoke to the students in a recent forum.
He emphasized the importance of setting goals, common mistakes people make when setting goals, and the need to adjust goals periodically. To begin, Mr. Bonjour explained the significance of focusing on a small set of goals by putting them ahead of other priorities in life. To illustrate this intense focus, he turned to an example from Christ.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”Matthew 13:44–45, NKJV
Set a Good Goal
To focus on a goal, Mr. Bonjour explained, we must first set a goal. Too often, life distracts us and we spend our days with no direction because we never set a goal in the first place. If we want to choose our path, our destiny, we have to set goals. But this should not be done in a rushed, haphazard way. Mr. Bonjour recalled an all-too-common situation: A friend of his spent years in college and got student loan debts. When he got out of college, he decided he liked a different field better and all that time and money was wasted. Mr. Bonjour gave some advice to avoid this: get internships, talk to people in the field you’re interested in to see if you truly like it, and ask God to help you discern and guide you in the right direction. God promises he will guide and teach those who are willing to be taught!
“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”Psalm 25:9
Another key to goal setting is to set achievable goals. Mr. Bonjour referenced the adage, “Success begets success.” Making sequential goals keeps a real-life objective in front of us at all times, and it makes it easier to adjust to the curveballs that life throws at us.
When Do We Adjust Our Goals?
Sometimes, Mr. Bonjour continued, our goals bend to the environment around us. This can be good or bad. He told the story of some brothers who started a chicken farm to make “a million dollars.” Not a bad goal. After they stocked their chicken house, a few of the new chickens died (not unusual), and they decided to put in an alligator pond and feed the dead chickens to the alligators. In a couple years, they found the alligator farm was thriving and making more money than the chicken farm! They switched priorities and began only growing chickens to feed the alligators. They adjusted their short-term goal and priority to match reality!
But bending our goals to the environment is not always good. Mr. Bonjour pointed to the examples of the Israelites, who started with good goals as set by Moses and Joshua, but soon drifted away, thinking they would have better success following pagan gods.
How do we know when to bend our goals and when to stay firm? Mr. Bonjour gave the answer: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Once we start down a path, we may get a better look at it and realize it is not leading where we want to go. We must evaluate and prove our goals as we live. We cannot stop moving forward, but we can continually check to ensure our goals align with God’s way. This will keep us moving in the right direction.
The Most Important Goal
Mr. Bonjour concluded with a stirring reminder. He turned to Romans 10:4 and read, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).
He explained that the word “end” in this verse means the end result, the goal. Becoming perfect—as Christ was perfect—is the goal of keeping the commandments. Mr. Bonjour gave the students the most important goal: become like Christ. And he gave them the way to get there: keep the commandments.
Mr. Bonjour also gave a fantastic forum about living the give way of life: Be A Giver.
Kaleb Johnson is a student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the spring of 2022. In addition, Kaleb enjoys writing, video-making, trying new activities (anything and everything), playing chess, and debating (it’s not arguing!) with people. He currently works in the Living Education department producing written content, videos, and helping with a variety of other projects.