Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
Lord, let me be successful by your measure, not man’s measure. Written in my prayer journal, January 28, 2015
I must confess. I struggle with feelings of failure. They are usually brought on when I compare myself with others or contemplate what others think about my life. I start to feel like what I have done or what I am doing doesn’t measure up. That I should have or could have done more with my life. That I should have gone to some of the places career wise that my colleagues did. I should have authored some books. Been a foreign correspondent. Won awards for my work. That I am not successful.
When those feelings come upon me I have to remember what real success is.
Man’s measure of success is fame and fortune. Man measures success by your popularity, prestige and power. Man measures success by how many facebook likes you get and if your video has gone viral. Are you invited to the right places with the beautiful people? Are you known and your work admired?
It’s a natural thing. It’s the way we are wired. As people we want to be heard, seen and respected.
By man’s measure most of us fall short.
But even folks who we think are successful because they have more money than they can spend can be miserable. They may be popular and surrounded by people and still be lonely and depressed. They can be successful by the world’s measure and still overdose on drugs.
The dictionary defines success as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. I believe that true success is fulfilling your divine purpose.
What is our purpose? Ultimately, our purpose is to know God and look like His Son. But how that plays out individually varies. Different seasons may entail different tasks and assignments. But it is always the same purpose. To glorify God. To show evidence of who He is.
The study notes in my Bible about the prophet Jeremiah say, “Success must never be measured by popularity, fame or fortune, for these are temporal measures…God measures our success with the yardsticks of obedience, faithfulness and righteousness. If you are faithfully doing the work God gives you, you are successful in his eyes.”
In the world’s eyes the prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul were miserable failures. Yet, we know that they were extremely successful because they did God’s will. Those are they eyes that matter most--God’s eyes.
When you are faithfully pursuing God’s purpose, you may not see all of the results in this life. People may not understand what you’re doing. You may be a failure in some eyes. Some results we won’t see until eternity. But keep working. Keep trusting God. Keep believing.
God’s measuring stick is the only one that really matters.