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Defining real success

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What does it mean to be successful? Many answers have been proposed. One secular teacher, AP Goutby, said, “The sense of success is to: 1.) set a long range goal, and 2.) be able to relate daily work to it. Too many of us have only a vague idea of what we want. Even when we do, we do not know how to translate this desire into the necessary short-range steps which will bring us there.”

Today, I would like you to remember that God’s definition of success may be different from the standards you evaluate yourself by. Most of us have been taught that power, wealth, fame, position, beauty or knowledge determine our worth. In reality such a belief is hurtful to our success by inspiring pride about the things we accomplish and discouragement over the failures and disappointments that enter our lives. That is not the way to live.

Our heavenly Father does not evaluate us according to those faulty and temporary world standards. Remember what He told us in I John 2:17, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” To Him you are important, loved and valuable even before you are born. He has a personal plan for you to live according to His will. He tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11). This means that success is not about proving yourself but about honoring Him by walking in His will and becoming all He created you to be.

So rather than chasing after those things that are passing away in the world and really not satisfying your soul, seek God’s eternal will and purposes for your life through a personal relationship with Him. See the challenges in your life as coming from Him to shape you and glorify the Lord in them. Realize the setbacks and trials of life are given to us as platforms for His praise (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). So be confident and trust Him in knowing those who do His will always succeed, for He defines true eternal success.

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