Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pictures of success and failure

What does authentic, godly success look like? How about failure (again, from God's perspective)? I've decided to brainstorm some ideas here. They are mostly generic; I do need to apply the success parts to specific areas of my life, however.

Of course I don't have all the answers, so please let me know what you think authentic, godly success is. Thanks and may the Lord grant you joy and success in reaching the destiny He has for you.


  • Knowing Christ as Savior and Lord. It shouldn't just be about not going to hell, or even only about going to heaven. Yes, these are great things. But our life on earth should reflect our love for and obedience to Him
  • Growing into who God created us to be and do
  • "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
  • Doing the best we can in all key areas of life (for example, faith (spiritual life, character), fitness (mental, emotional, physical), family, friends, finances (including possessions), firm (career, education), favor (giving, ministry), fun
  • Focusing on the roots (what we can control)
  • Loving unconditionally (this doesn't mean everybody is our friend, but what we hate is the sin, not the person)
  • Loving and honoring our spouses and children
  • Having at least a couple close friendships
  • Taking responsibility
  • Being proactive
  • Having a "Judeo-Christian" work ethic
  • Taking the necessary actions to grow
  • Knowing ourselves well (balancing how we see our strengths and weaknesses
  • Feeling deeply
  • Learning to see problems as opportunities to grow. Yes, we should grieve deep losses, but we should not allow them to dominate our thinking and emotions for years.
  • Rejoicing amid (though certainly not for) problems
  • Believing the best about people unless and until they prove otherwise (and then believing that God can redeem even the most lost among us)
  • Making the best use of the time we have
  • Having an attitude of gratitude
  • Loving what's right and hating what's wrong
  • Doing the right thing no matter how unpopular it may be
  • Knowing our purpose in life, and pursuing it passionately
  • Balancing our time alone, with family, with friends, and at work
  • Surrendering to God moment by moment
  • "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never." Winston Churchill

OK, that's a start for success. To picture failure, look at some of these and think about what would happen if we did the opposite (e.g., not being thankful, being reactive, trying to please others more than God). I'd love to see what God has put on your heart regarding what authentic success looks like. God bless.


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