Desire Vs. Goals: Why Most People Burnout

Desire vs. Goals: Why Many People Burnout

We all have desires in our lives.

  • I desire to be a good husband
  • To be a good father to my children (when we have them)
  • To see my wife walk in all God has for her
  • To equip people to walk in who they are in Christ
  • To set people free from the bondage of religion

The danger I’ve found is when we treat our desires like goals.

Sometimes these can be great goals… For example my desire to be a great husband translates fantastically into a goal.

But my desire to see my wife walk in all God has for her… That can’t be a goal.


Because I’m not in charge of my wife.

I can’t make her do anything… That’s her decision.

And just as I make my fair share of decisions she wouldn’t have thought were best for me, I’m sure she may make some similar decisions in her life too.

Determining your responsibility

You see you aren’t ultimately responsible for other people, no matter how deep the relationship.

Pastor’s – You aren’t responsible for keeping your congregation from sinning.

Wive’s – You aren’t responsible for your husbands anger issue.

Father’s – You aren’t responsible for your son’s choice to no longer be a Christian.

Now don’t misunderstand me. We should do everything we can in our lives to help those close to us to make great decisions.

I’m simply saying at the end of the day, we can’t make people’s choices for them and we can’t take their choices upon our own shoulders.

Back to our examples

To save us from burnout we have to translate our desires into goals.

Desires are the things we hope for.

Goals are the things we are responsible for that increase the likelihood of that desire becoming a reality.

As I said before – sometimes they might be the same thing. But if we mess this up – burnout.

So going back to our examples above these might be some of the goals those people could set…

The pastor:

  • I’m going to equip people as best I can in their beliefs
  • I’m going to demonstrate walking with Christ to the best of my abilities
  • I’m going to empower those around me to make decisions and give them freedom to make make those decisions – or not

The wife:

  • I’m going to be the best wife I can be
  • I’m going to love my husband no matter what
  • I’m not going to personally facilitate his bad decisions but I’m not going to try and control him
  • I’m going to share my views and let him know how his decisions are effecting me and others

The father:

  • I’m going to be a great father
  • I’m going to focus on loving my son
  • I’m going to talk to him about the goodness of God and share amazing testimonies of what God has done in my life
  • I’m going to put people in his life that will show him the goodness of God
  • I’m going to give him the freedom to make his own decisions

Here’s the key:

We do all we can to see our desires fulfilled, but our goals are exactly that… They are ours.

You can’t have a goal to have a “godly family”.

Because like it or not your family might decide to live a life you don’t deem “godly”.

That’s their choice.

Your goal has to be to be a godly parent, wife/husband, love unconditionally and show them the goodness of god in your life.

You can only control you.

My challenge to you is – where are you mixing up desires and goals in your life?

Because every area you have done so will require you to control others in order for you to have peace, joy and success.

What needs to change?

Enjoy the post? Share it...


  1. Conceptually, I agree. You have hit on an important behavioral or attitudinal issue that, if embraced and acted upon, could potentially reduce a lot of stress and heartache. I would, however, choose a different term than “goal.” A goal is something quantifiable or achievable. I can drive a stake in the ground and say with confidence that I have or have not achieved my goal. “I’m going to drop 20 pounds by December 1st.” That’s quantifiable. I achieved my goal or I did not. I don’t know what that new term should be … perhaps Desires vs. Ambitions?

    • Great observation Damon – I totally agree. I do a lot of coaching and help people setup smart goals all the time so really should have thought of that! haha

      I guess people will get what I’m saying none-the-less though. Hopefully :)

  2. Thank you for this devotional, it has been eye opening. My husband walked away from Christ several year ago and I have made it my personal mission to get him back into church and back into a relationship with Christ. Consequently, “my mission,” has caused burn-out in my relationship with God, and it has caused me to doubt God, and it has also caused me to harbor unforgiveness and a root of bitterness against my spouse and the people who hurt him spiritually. My motives have been “good” but they have been wrong, and I can see now that I have developed unbelief and some wrong beliefs about God through this process.

    • Hi Rikkei – so sorry to hear about your husband. But so glad that this article set you free from taking his choices upon your own shoulders to fix.

      I’m praying that your husband encounters God in all He does and in who He meets and God sets him up to make great choices in life.

      Until then I pray you have peace to do life well yourself and create some great goals for yourself that you will be able to throw yourself into and enjoy doing.

      Thanks for sharing – so blessed to hear it helped you in your situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *