What Is Success?

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Don’t lose your grip on love and loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. (Proverbs 3:3-4, The Message)

Our dreams are usually shaped by what we think is the best, most fulfilling way to spend our time in this world. We don’t want to be failures. We only get one life and we want to use it well. So we dream about the kind of success we desire, and we eventually pursue those dreams. But does God see success the same way we do? If we’re going to live by faith in a good God, we have to rethink our culture’s ideas about “success” and shape our goals around His.

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Many of us think of success as “being important,” or maybe being at the top of whatever field we work in. We would likely say that the CEO of a company is successful, but we might not say the same about his secretary. We would think of a famous athlete as successful, but we might not say the same of a middle school basketball coach. This is how we define success because these are the goals our culture has put before us. But the truth is, God hasn’t commanded us all to become CEO’s or famous athletes. He hasn’t called us to worldly success; He’s called us to faithfulness. We need to adjust our goals, and further, adjust our dreams.

It is not your business to succeed, but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God.—C. S. Lewis

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