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  • How To Measure Success

    1 posts, 1 voices, 707 views, started Sep 8, 2010

    Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 by Denise Richardson




    • Diamond
      Offline
      Ambassador

      We live in a world where success is defined in innumerable ways, most of which are wrong. Sadly, even the professing church has been prone to increasingly err in its understanding of true, Biblical success.  

      Whether the pressuring voices come from within the church or without, we must not give in to their distortions and perversions of what God says success really is.

      Paul says toward the very end of his life, writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

      Paul had achieved great fame and power very early on in his life, outdistancing many of his contemporaries in terms of Bible knowledge and understanding (Galatians 1:14). He was mentored by the best Jewish teacher of all (Acts 22:3), and he was considered a man of high rank. But these things he counted as loss (Philippians 3:7).

      This was not because there was evil in leading or having status, but it was that he had pursued these kinds of things at the expense of pursuing God. Thus, he chose to abandon the “success” which he had experienced in persecuting Christ in exchange for service to Christ, choosing rather to suffer with Him (Romans 8:17).

      Paul understood that success is not what we can achieve or gain in terms of worldly things. It is not a race for rank, money, publicity or power. Sometimes he had much, and sometimes he had little (Philippians 4:12).

      But in all things he was content, and as he wrote to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Thus, Paul measured success by the state of his heart in relation to God. Godliness, faithfulness, and contentment were paramount in terms of how he wanted his life defined.

      From Paul's testimony, we can conclude that success contains the following elements:

      1) living life as a sacrifice, pouring out the love of God to others in service and ministry for the sake of Christ

      2) fighting the good fight of faith, continuing to preach the gospel and contending for truth without compromise no matter the cost (2 Timothy 3:14)

      3) finishing the course, persevering in godliness and not being disqualified from effective ministry due to a lack of discipline (1 Corinthians 9:27)

      4) keeping the faith, continuing to serve Christ and abounding in the work of the Lord, wherever He has called us, never growing weary of loving Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:58).  

      Interestingly, Paul didn't measure his success by how many converts he had or by how many people read his letters; rather, he was concerned with faithfulness, holiness, and endurance. He didn't judge himself based upon how much he suffered but upon how he suffered for Christ's sake.

      Paul's criteria for success had nothing to do with what others of the day thought of him or even what people in times to come, people like us today, would think. He trusted Christ that he would be faithful to bear fruit and advance the kingdom if only he would be faithful and maintain obedience to the truth of the gospel (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

      This impacted every area of his life so that Christ would be honored in each and every conversation, in each and every relationship, in each and every business venture, and in each and every message preached. No area of his life was exempted from needing to meet the Biblical criteria for true success.  

      Our hope should be that we can come to the end of our lives, whenever that may be, and look back as Paul did, with joy, hope, and exaltation because by faith we will have lived as holy sacrifices, having fought the good fight, having kept the faith, and having finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7).

      We ought to want to hear our Savior say to us one day, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23). There is no clearer definition and affirmation of success than that.

      Scripture Of The Day: "Now godliness with contentment is great gain" - 1 Timothy 6:6






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