Thursday, August 30, 2007
our friend billy sends out a weekly devotional. this week's was particularly insightful, so i thought i'd share it with you:
"Choose Your Success"
Success--that's a loaded word, isn't it? It can mean so many different things to different people. Webster's Dictionary defines success as a "favorable or desired outcome." So I guess to know if we really are a success or not, we have to know what our desired outcome is. For a golfer it's a low score. For a bowler it's a high score. For a sprinter it's a quick burst to the finish line. For a marathon runner it's a consistent pace to the finish line. It really depends on what your desired outcome is.
Many people don't really know what success is for them, so they are dependent upon other people to tell them. I guess this is what the media and marketing is really all about. A BMW commercial wants you to believe that true success is owning a BMW. A weight-loss commercial wants you to believe that true success is losing weight. A home builder's commercial wants you to believe that owning his homes is true success. An investment company's commercial wants you to believe that true success is having a big and mighty portfolio--with their company, of course.
Who do we believe? How do we really know that we are a success? If I buy a BMW, what happens when my friend next door gets a Lexus? Am I no longer a success? When I build my house and my good friend builds a bigger one, am I no longer a success? When I invest my money and I lose it because of a down year in the stock market, am I no longer a success? You see, when you and I buy into these earthly definitions of success, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment because the terms of success on earth are always changing.
How about you and I just try these two simple things that Jesus said were the most important:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments."- Matthew 22:36-40
In other words, Jesus was saying that if you want to do what's truly important, you'll do these two things: love God with everything you've got, and love people as much as you do yourself. Think about it: there are two things that most people really care about when they get close to their death--God and people. We want to know that we are right with God, and we want to be with our friends and loved ones. If these are truly the things that we know deep down are the two most important things in life, then why do we waste so much time living for other things?
Does it really matter if I've had the right vehicles if my children don't feel like I care about them? Does it really matter if I've built the most beautiful home in my community if I don't have any friends to share it with? Does it really matter if I've achieved every level of success on this earth if I don't get to enjoy the incomparable riches of heaven? You determine what success is in your life--each person does. My humble advice to you is to choose the right desirable outcome for your life. This way when you've achieved your "level of success," you won't be disappointed.
Have a successful day,