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What Is True Success?

March 21, 2014

Ah success.  What does that word mean anyway?  Ask a hundred different people, and you’ll  hear a hundred different answers.  But what does it mean to you?

I loved English in school; it was by far my best subject;  “A’s”, praise, and amaze. Then it happened…

Mrs. L., my new English teacher, handed back our first assignment of the semester.  Smack-dab-center, a bright red “F” stared back at me; I hadn’t seen that much red since Christmas.   Appalled, I glanced top left.  Yes, there was my name, written neatly in cursive and tarnishing before my very eyes.  This grade I concluded, must be some horrible mistake.  It was no mistake.  Everyone received an “F” that day.  Smart teaching sends a loud-and-clear message: set your goals higher.

Eventually, I received an “A” in Mrs. L.’s class.  It was the sweetest grade I’ve ever received.  Ah, success.  But one good grade does not define success, does it?  No it doesn’t.  Runners train for a 5k, and achieving that goal is success; but does it stop there?  Usually not.  A true runner sets new goals, higher goals; whether it means another 5k, or training even harder for a 10k.  The bar continues to be raised.

One would think working toward a goal and finally attaining it, should make us feel successful. So why do we sometimes feel deflated?  Why don’t we feel accomplished?

We don’t feel accomplished, because we’re not finished.   Here’s why:

   Every goal achieved resets the starting line.  Tweet that

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes success this way: “favorable or desired outcome; also :  the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.”

Interesting but not surprising.  We all know the world measures success by wealth, status, and square footage of our house; but what does God say about success?

                          “He stores up success for the upright;
                                He is a shield for those who live with integrity.”  Proverbs 2:7
(HCSB)

Success in God’s eyes is not measured by titles; fame; or fortune.  These are not the goals to set our eyes upon. True success and sound wisdom comes to those who walk upright.  Set higher goals for moral rectitude. That is our favorable and desired outcome. That is true success.