Success is an interesting word. The Merriam-Webster definition of success is:
1a: degree or measure of succeeding.
b: favourable or desired outcome also: the attainment of wealth, favour, or eminence.
If we view success in this way, images of wealth, fame, occupation, social status, material possessions, partner, children, appearance may fill our minds of what it means to be a success or if we have indeed become ‘successful’.
This of course is a very narrow and worldly way at looking at success and can be quite damaging. It can make people feel a sense of lack or worthlessness simply because they may appear to have not measured up to this idea of success.
While I believe it is important to have a vision for your life, I think there needs to be a shift in our thinking of what success is and what it means to be successful.
How does God view success?
Moving away from the Merriam-Webster definition of success and shifting our minds on things above (Colossians 3) I wonder what God’s definition of success is?
Bible teacher, Andrew Wommack, in his series, God wants you to succeed says,
‘God created us to be a success, but I’ve spent so much time trying to redefine what success is and basically to me Romans 12:1 and 2 summarises what success is and it’s just knowing God, being a living sacrifice and then you renew your mind, so you follow what he tells you to do. If you love God with all of your heart and follow his instructions whether it is big or small, then you are a success.’
Trap of comparison
2 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12 is a warning not to compare ourselves with others or their callings.
‘For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.’
‘We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us…’
We can be inspired by other people, but we must be careful not to compare ourselves to what others are doing or where they are at in life.
What is God calling me to do?
What is God calling you to do? You may already be firmly walking this out, or you may not know yet.
For me this took crying out to God, hungry and desperate to hear from him. To put my preconceived ideas of what I should be doing, or what I thought or what others thought I should do or become and instead ask God, ‘What do you want me to do with this life you have given me? How can I glorify you and how can I be a living sacrifice for you?’
A few years ago, I believe God showed me what path to take and while it may appear to be slow going, I am heading in that direction. Whatever it is you may be called to do, I encourage you to keep at it, to stay close to Him and to follow his leadings.
It may not make sense to others, or there may not be a lot of visible fruit at the moment, but I encourage you to not give up and to keep going!
Jo Fuller lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband, son and daughter. Jo is a teacher with an education in journalism and early childhood who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys reading and writing whenever she can.