Dr Sandy Palm
God, Goals, and Grit
There have been many studies on the qualities of a successful person. Is it IQ, heredity, economic stability, a strong family life, talent, opportunities, or great teachers? What makes a successful student, a successful person, a person whose life counts for God? I like to think of it as God, Goals, and Grit.
As a Christian with a Christian World view, we have a different definition of success than the world does. Success does not mean money and power, toys or houses, or a fast rise up the career ladder. Christians see and evaluate the world around them with a compass set to follow God’s direction. In our first experiences with God, He changes us and gives us a new beginning. As we walk on with Him, He leads us to full surrender and a deeper walk of self-denial and service. God must be number one in our life for it to be successful.
The old time Salvation Army of General Booth’s era used the saying that we are “Saved to Serve.” As we “…press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:14 NKJV), we set goals about how we will get where He wants us to go. Goals help us to reach our objective. If our objective is to live for God, do His will, and make it to Heaven, we will have a plan to accomplish this goal in life. In ministry, it is often said that a call to preach is a call to prepare. I think this is true of everything in life. Students have academic goals to help them prepare for ministry, ordination, or a degree in the field that God has called them to. God is essential, goals are good, but is that enough?
The missing ingredient is Grit. We have all known people who started well, meant well, but did not quite follow through. Some were smarter and more talented than we are. What is the ingredient that causes successful people to keep going in the face of obstacles? The psychologist Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth defines Grit as the power and passion of perseverance. It is the inward stamina that causes an individual to stick with their future and follow through on their commitments. (Ted Talks:GRIT) Grit is the something within that keeps us going even when we feel like we’re hanging on by a thread.
When in college and in life, God, Goals, and Grit is needed. Challenges will be faced as family, jobs, and striving to keep alive spiritually are juggled. At times, self-doubt and feelings of failure will be felt. Questions and challenges with people in and out of church will need to be faced. When God calls, He will give what is needed to set goals and be successful. He will also give strength to keep pressing on for our heavenly prize and a life that reflects God. Keep God first, set goals, and be Gritty!
Dr. Sandra Palm, the Director of the General Education program at NBC