I don’t know of anyone who sets out intentionally seeking to be failures but we all want to be successful in all that we do. Part of the difficulty of finding success or even know what it looks like is knowing if it is the real thing. Sometime achieving what we are led to believe to be success, leads us to find out that it is not. God and the average person have been known to have a slightly different idea and perspective as to what success is. According to the magazine ads, TV commercials, music industry or the visible sign of the American culture, success is any or all of the following: social status, good looks, sexy or macho, cool, smart, wear the right clothes, have the right friends, good health, good sense of humor, be rich, live in a big home, hold high positions, good job, control over people, eat the best food and travel extensively. However this is not how God sees success. I have seen many people think and pursue a lifestyle of all these things but without God leading. They in turn may have the status but without God in the center, they stand alone and unsatisfied internally. Most of the above only allow one to accumulate checks on their mental chart for having compiled external achievements by hard work, luck or pressure. Of course God can give you all these things too but Jesus didn’t portray all of these things to call Him successful in people’s eyes. He was a social outcast, He looked common so we can conclude He wasn’t the macho type. He wore regular clothes just like everyone else, didn’t hold a high position or even hang out with a particular multitude. In other words, He looked like everyone else and blended in with the community and culture He lived in. Although people flocked to Him, it doesn’t mean He had many who put Him first. Have you ever thought just maybe some of the people in the crowd wanted to be entertained, wanted a meal, or just went along because a friend asked them too? Much like today, the heart is not looking for a relationship so therefore success doesn’t follow.
Life its enjoyment its fulfillment and its richness are not dependent on all those things. They may add a different dimension to life in some way but they are not the essence of life or success.
According to the Scriptures, including Jesus’ own life and teachings, success is developing and retaining several things. First is having God in your life where you put Him first in everything and in the middle of everything you do and say along with all relationships. It is allowing His Spirit to guide you into all truth, casting out fear, doubt or unbelief. It is allowing Jesus to be Lord in your life removing all bits of self and fleshly sins. If God is not welcome in any of the relationships or areas you may visit, then success is not there. To have or be successful we must have the maker of success guiding our lives. It is being content and satisfied in any situation or circumstance in life. Being successful is having inner joy along with leading a pure and holy life. It is taking and giving your time to love others as oneself and showing mercy and forgiveness. It is being persecuted for doing what is right, being sorry for sin, striving for peace and having right relationships, which agree with a Godly lifestyle. It is having self-control and discipline to do the right things. It is reaching out to others and telling them how to know and live for Jesus Christ. We were born to serve others.
We must understand God is not opposed to a person looking nice, being smart or dressing neatly, having friends, having wealth or being a traveler. In fact He came to give us life and life more abundantly.
Whose standard of success are you going to spend your life seeking? The better you know Jesus the better understanding and model of success you will have.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Colossians 1:10 Live always to please God, honor Him, do good and be good, do kind things for others while you are learning to do more for God. Be fruitful in every good work.
I Timothy 6:18 Do good, be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate and living a fruitful life.
Want to know what success looks like? Take a look at Jesus and be like Him. He has given us the word, read it, study it, obey it, live it and you will be successful!