So, you want to be a success? Successful in what? How do you go about it? How will you know if you have achieved successhood? What IS success?
One dictionary says: success is the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the attainment of wealth, position, honors, etc. If that is success, why do so many millionaires, movie stars, and beauty contestants feel empty and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on psychiatrists? What are they trying to achieve that they don’t have?
They’re looking for internal satisfaction, inner-peace.
Many of you have heard of John D. Rockefeller. One of the great success stories in America, he had a lot to say about success throughout his life. Several of his comments early in life are:
But later in life Rockefeller said, “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never be fulfilled.” And, “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.”
So, what is success? My father once told me, “Son, you are living for the Lord, your family loves you, you enjoy your vocation, and you enjoy life. Although you don’t have a big bank account, you are an example of what I call success! What’s your secret?”
I told him we live by this principle: “If we are not content with what we have, we will never be content with what we want.” However, being content with what I have does not mean I sit back and do nothing; but working for the betterment of my family and mankind, I normally don’t get stressed out or worry about anything. Living for the Lord with high integrity and character, my life and the results of what I do are in God’s hands.
Dorothy Rugg, co-pastor with her husband, James Rugg at Mill City Assembly of God, Mill City, PA, said it eloquently on July 1, 2013:
“How do you measure success? What do you think makes you successful?
“I believe all of us struggle with how to correctly evaluate success in our lives. We make the mistake of looking at others and comparing ourselves with them. Or we look to the standards of success of a world that ignores God and His commandments. We think wealth or influence will make us successful.
“The Apostle Paul said, ‘Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:11-13, NASB).
“We learn from Paul that success is living for the glory of God. Being who God wants us to be. When we follow that path to success, we are strengthened in everything we do by the Holy Spirit.
“Success is the lonely widow who sits at home and prays and intercedes for the needs of her family and friends. Success is the teenager who takes a stand in school to live his life for the Lord and not go the way of the crowd. Success is the homemaker taking care of her children day by day and making her home a safe haven. Success is the hard-working man who puts in long hours to provide for his family. Success is the person who struggles with a crippling disability in her body yet gives glory to God by her very life.
“Success is where you are with God. Not all of us will be famous or well-known by the world, but what matters most is being recognized by God our Heavenly Father. Living for His glory, His honor. You will be successful when you surrender everything to the Father and live according to His plan and His purpose.”
Earthly success is temporary at best but can leave you feeling empty. Jesus informs us true success comes from knowing God and completing His will for our lives. (John 4:34)
We never achieve fulfillment by attempting to live for ourselves. That’s been proven millions of times. We achieve fulfillment when we purposely live to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.