Did you know that I’m a very successful woman? And I enjoy a great deal of freedom, contentment and satisfaction from my success.
Do you know anyone who can say the same? I do know some, but not many. I wonder how many there are who can say in complete honesty that they are satisfied with their life and their success. Not many in today’s world, I think.
See what my man Chuck Swindoll has to say about this very subject:
Maybe we should confess that one reason we find it so hard to set selfishness aside and adopt the spirit of a servant is that we’re driven by dreams of success. We want to be winners.
Face it; we live in a success-saturated society. Right next to the books applauding our selfishness are dozens of bestsellers telling us how we can be more successful. Dozens of books and magazines every year, along with scores of DVDs and hundreds of seminars, offer new ideas and new motivation techniques that have the promise of prosperity. Success is big business. No wonder thinking like servants is so hard.
Curiously, however, few ever address what most folks want (but seldom find) in their pursuit of success: contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, and relief. On the contrary, the roads that are supposed to lead to success are not only rocky; they’re maddening. As the Executive’s Digest once reported, “The trouble with success is that the formula is the same as the one for a nervous breakdown.”
And what formula is that? Work longer hours, push ahead, let nothing hinder your quest—not your marriage or family, not your convictions or conscience, not your health or friends. Be aggressive and, if necessary, mean, as you press toward the top. You gotta be smart, slick, and sly if success is the bottom line of your agenda. It’s the same old fortune-fame-power-pleasure line we’ve been fed for decades.
At the risk of sounding ultra-simplistic, I’d like to offer some counsel that stands 180 degrees in contrast to all the above. My suggestions will never appear in the Wall Street Journal or as part of the Harvard Business School curriculum, but they do represent a philosophy supported in Scripture.
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5-7)
These verses address three crucial realms related to true success: authority, attitude, and anxiety. And the best part of all is this: following God’s directives will bring the one benefit not found in the world’s empty promises—a deep sense of lasting satisfaction.
It’s what we could call the forgotten side of success. And I would add that it is the success that will come to those who wish to develop the heart of a servant.
Gives you something to think about doesn’t it?
People who know me may even be asking why I consider myself a successful person. My answer is pretty simple: I am living in the Grace of God. Everything that I do in obedience to God will be successful. My God can do anything. I can do anything with God (Matthew 19:26). And when I screw up, I am covered with the Grace of God, the God of second (and third and fourth…) chances. So even in my screw ups I am successful. And because of that, because of the Grace of God and my desire to do His Will, I have incredible contentment, peace of mind and satisfaction in my life as a wife and mother and servant of God.
This might sound like pretty small potatoes to some. But to those I ask this; are you really satisfied with your life? Has what you’ve been striving for given you contentment? Now, even before I had God in my life, my idea of success was different than most. Money and stuff has never been important to me…I didn’t even get a drivers license till I was 30, so a fancy car never meant anything to me – I was quite content to take the bus. I’ve never been materialistic, and I know I’m not the only one. There are others like that out there. But I was never content. I never had peace. Not until I started living my life for God. That is the only way it happens. If you aren’t living for God, whether you’re saved or not, I don’t believe you are content or at peace either, if you’re really honest with yourself.
People who don’t know God try to find contentment and satisfaction in sex, or booze, or power, or status, or materialism. It isn’t there. I know because I tried to find it in some of those places too. It isn’t there. satan can sometimes trick you into believing that you’re content, but as he hates it when we’re happy, it won’t last.
We were all born with a God-shaped hole in our souls. It can only be filled with God. Our contentment and satisfaction in life are part of the blessings God gives us when we obey His Will. And the only way we can know His Will is to fill that God-shaped hole with God.
I’ve often said that the main reason I want to witness to people is for the icing on the cake. The “cake” is that they will go to heaven when they die. The “icing” is that they can be full of joy on this planet, no matter what their circumstances, and that’s what I wish for everyone.
Immerse yourself in His everlasting Grace,
How about you? What’s your definition of success? Are you successful? Why or why not?