⏳5-Year Goals, Habit Reset, Dustin Benge, The Love of Money

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Dear steward,

Welcome to another edition of Reagan’s Roundup!

Today is the date of my yearly check-up on my 5-Year Plan.

In the Summer of 2020, I wrote down what I’d like to accomplish, if it be God’s will, over the next five years. And then I plotted annual reviews of that plan on my calendar.

Only two years in, I’ve already learned a ton from this process.

The most remarkable thing so far has been how much of that simple plan has actually come to fruition.

For example, I had said I wanted to write five books in five years (a stupidly ambitious goal in hindsight). Yet, here I am working on my third book. Another goal was to buy a home in the woods for our family. And just last week we closed on a little place surrounded by about an acre of trees.

Christians can sometimes thumb our noses at the idea of making plans for the future. As if the very act of planning is evidence of not trusting God. But while the Bible does warn against making arrogant plans (James 4:13–15), planning for the future with an open hand and a humble heart is the very stuff of wisdom—something the Scriptures call us to pursue as more precious than rubies (Proverbs 8:11).

The difference between arrogant planning and humble planning is our heart posture.

I often think of the Apostle Paul when he was on the road to Troas and received his “Macedonian Call.” His plan was to visit the Galatian churches he had helped plant on his first missionary journey. Those were Paul’s plans. But God had other plans for Paul. God sent him a vision in the night calling him to Macedonia instead (Acts 16:9).

Was Paul’s original plan wrong? Was it sinful in some way? No. Paul made his plans but he held them with an open hand. And when the Lord redirected them he responded appropriately.

“After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them”

Acts 16:10

Maybe I’ll reach the goals I’ve set for myself in my five-year plan, maybe I won’t. But what really matters is that I keep at the forefront of my mind that the aim is always to please God. Those goals just happen to be the way I think I can best please him. The goals are just a vehicle for glorifying God. So if He changes my course, I need to be ready to scrap my plans at the drop of the hat.

I guess if I had any advice it would be this: Plan well but keep an open hand and a humble heart. Because the goal of all our goals must be the glory of God.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

P.s. If you struggle with setting and reaching goals in a God-honoring way, I may be able to help.

✨ New on Redeeming Productivity

📝 How to Do a “Habits Reset” this Summer (2 mins)

Mere behavior change can’t transform our hearts, only God can do that. But sometimes we need to start doing the right thing before we start to desire it.

🎙The Godly Use of Social Media with Dustin Benge (39 mins)

In this episode, I talk with Dustin Benge about how Christians can utilize social media in a God-honoring way, not get sucked into the outrage mob, and operate online with integrity. Believers often decry social media as a waste of time, but in just a few short years Dustin has accrued over 75,000 followers on Twitter by just following the strategy of simply “posting truth.” Dustin shares valuable insights into how he thinks about his social media presence as an extension of his ministry and a stewardship from God.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the Redeeming Productivity Show so you don’t miss an episode.

▶️ Do Christians Need to Work 40-Hour Weeks? (3 mins)

🧑‍💻The Roundup

Project People vs. Area People: Are You Running a Sprint Or a Marathon? (10 mins)

This subtle distinction can help you become a more faithful steward in all aspects of life.

“Let me introduce you to the most effective way I’ve found to organize my work and life: by project and area of responsibility.”

(Tiago Forte / Forte Labs)

How to Keep Yourself from Loving Money (3 mins)

“If only I had more money. We’ve all thought it. Perhaps your dream vacation is just out of reach. Maybe you wish you could save more for what the future holds. It’s tempting to think our problems would be largely solved if only we had a little more money. In 1 Timothy 6:6–10, the apostle Paul sounds an important warning: desiring to be rich leads to ruin.“

(David Schuman / The Gospel Coalition)

“Buddhism has found a new institutional home in the West: the corporation.” (11 mins)

This is a fascinating look at how an off-brand Buddhism infiltrated Silicon Valley. This is one of my own concerns with the secular productivity movement in general, many books and resources on the subject are based on a sort of pseudo-Buddhism. It’s the reason you hear so much talk of mindfulness and meditation right alongside to-do lists and goals.

(Judith Hertog and Carolyn Chen / Guernica)

Help! I Don’t Feel like My Work Is Meaningful (3 mins)

“No, our hope rests on God’s promise for our work. And that promise is rooted in the resurrection.”

(Greg Phelan / The Gospel Coalition)

The Einstein Principle: Accomplish More By Doing Less (5 mins)

“We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention. Achievements worth achieving require hard work. There is no shortcut here.”

(Cal Newport / Study Hacks)

🖋Quote of the Week

“The most miserable creature on earth is the man who has nothing to do. Work for the hands or work for the head is absolutely essential for human happiness. Without it, the mind feeds upon itself, and the whole inward man becomes diseased.”⁠

– J.C. Ryle

Resurfaced with Readwise.

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⌛️That’s all for this Week

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I’ll see you next time!

– Reagan

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