Friday, September 7, 2012

How do you define success?

Every one of us, no matter our vocation or life-calling, has an innate desire to be successful. Of course, how “success” is defined and measured will vary, and will largely depend on the viewpoint of the individual. This world we live in, and our culture here in America in particular, has an altogether different standard for determining success than the God of the Bible. Our culture says success is setting a goal, one that will typically be financially rewarding, and then accomplishing it, regardless of the means which are utilized to reach the goal. Or, to put it bluntly, the end justifies the means.

Is a Politician successful if he obtains an office through falsehoods and by compromising his own principles? Or what about the pervasive notion in society which believes “He who dies with the most toys wins”? Hugh Hefner has been highly successful by this philosophy, having accumulated wealth, material gain, and notoriety; many others today would appear, by that standard, to be successful. But in God’s economy, they are sorely mistaken, for by God’s yardstick success is not measured so much by achieving the goal, it is the purity of the motives and the integrity of the means used to reach the goal which will be measured. Jesus succinctly captured this concept in Mark 8:36 when he said “What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world but lost his own soul”.

God has made us all in his image, and has placed us as his stewards over this earthly realm. Obviously, he wants us to be successful. However, what should be a concern for we Christians is the fact that many of us have succumbed, to some degree, to the same notion of “success” as the culture in general, rather than being in line with God’s standards. What do you live for? What gets you out of bed? By what means do you pursue your goals? Better check. You may not be as successful as you may think, especially by God’s measuring rod.

Perhaps it may be time to re-evaluate what motivates you and how you see success. A good place to start is Matthew 6:19-21 :

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

See ya Sunday!

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