What is success? Are you successful? What is the price of success?
These questions have been swirling around in my head lately, to be honest with you I feel more successful now than in any other time in my life. However by worldly standards and based on net worth that is probably not the case. There was a time in my life when I had a lot more money in the bank, much nicer cars in my driveway and a lot more stuff. I felt pretty good about my life and finances and thought I was pretty successful.
A lot has changed over the years and without going into all of the details, let’s just say my net worth is not what it used to be. And then my business partner and I lost our jobs during the height of the recession and decided to start a business, I know, we are either brilliant or crazy and I think the jury is still out on that, though we have not starved yet. But I think the bottom line is that I feel more successful now because I don’t base success on my net worth, my FICA score, how nice the cars are in the driveway or the amount of stuff I own.
Today, for me, I measure my success by answering the following questions:
- How well am I living the 2 greatest commandments? – Matthew 22:36-40
- How close am I walking with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
- How well am I doing being a godly husband to my wonderful wife?
- How well am I doing being a godly example to my children and grandchildren?
- Do I have godly friends who love me, support me and walk through life with me?
In Philippians 1:21 Paul says, For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul knew what success was and it had nothing to do with his FICA score.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get caught up in what Andy Stanley calls “The Enemies of the Heart” which are Guilt, Anger, Greed and Jealousy, but thank God that’s not where I live any more. I intentionally spend more of my life living in confession, forgiveness, generosity and celebration, which are the cures for those enemies.
If you’re living your life and basing your success on financials and materialistic goals, I hate to tell you that you will never be satisfied, and in case you don’t know, there is no luggage rack on a hearse, you can’t take it with you.
At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, in Mathew 6:19-21 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
Ouch…did you catch that? For where your treasure is, there your heart will also…tough truth, but he didn’t leave it at that, in verse 24 he goes on to say ““No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.
So if you’re like me and spent most of your life basing your success on what the “world” considers success instead of what God considers success, I suggest you stop and reevaluate where you want to store up your riches!