Success, defined as being the master of your own destiny, has become a cultural idol. In Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller says,
“More than other idols, personal success and achievement lead to a sense that we ourselves are God, that our security and value rest in our own wisdom, strength, and performance. To be the very best at what you do, to be at the top of the heap, means no one is like you. You are supreme.”
If we will rediscover the biblical doctrine of work and correctly understand our vocational calling, we must recognize a more timeless, faithful definition of success. The late John Wooden, the most successful college basketball coach in history and a committed Christian, was once asked how he would define success. He replied:
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
The New Testament defines success in a similar way in Jesus’ Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Whatever they represent—natural abilities, spiritual gifts, or other resources—talents in this parable at least represent the tools God gives us to carry out his mandate in the Garden. We can therefor assume two things:
1. God always gives us enough in order to do what He has required,
2. Whatever the Lord gives us now, He will ask us about later, expecting us to diligently work with these resources to further His kingdom.
We should base our definition of success on whether we have cultivated and invested our God-given talents and, by faith, taken advantage of divine opportunities to use them.
This definition should convict. We are called to greater heights of stewardship then we ever before realized.
It is up to us whether the Master will respond, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Master,” or, “You wicked, lazy servant!”. Love of the Master drives and inspires our work. We’re not working to become the next Bill Gates, though some may be called to such influence. We’re simply working to receive the Master’s praise.
May God Bless and Keep You
Pastor Larry J. Walker, Sr.
If you have ever witnessed the beginning of a 100 yard dash, you will notice all of the participants stretching just before the start of the race. After finishing these numerous exercises, the runners will approach the starting blocks to prepare to run this grueling race. Just before the starter fires his gun, he will ask, “runners are you ready?” You will notice the runners shaking their arms and legs to loosen up. The starter will say “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!” These words apply not only to racing but life. The more we are prepared for what we will face in life, the better we will be able to run the race that is set before us. ON YOUR MARK means that we should be aware of our goals. You will need to set realistic goals. Embrace the challenge of never settleling for mediocrity. Never look for the easy way out. Know where you’re going, but more importantly, know how you’re going to get there. GET SET means that we need to be prepared. You must be prepared for the victories as well as the defeats. You need to prepared for the good times as well as the not so good times. Prepare yourselves for some setbacks and disappointments. They will come! But more importantly, be prepared to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity. Always remember that in this life there we be only so many opportunities that will knock at your door. Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Make sure you are prepared. Finally, GO! If you have SET YOUR MARK and established realistic goals; if you have SET and are prepared, then GO! Go on to success. Remember that the race is not given to the swift, but to those who perservere. If you can believe, you can do it. Remember “If God be for you, who can be against you.” So, ARE YOU READY?
In his book “Graduate of Greatness” Andrew James Shares some very insightful insights on how to achieve greatness through excellence in all endeavors. Regardless of your GPA, your choice of school or your career path, true greatness can be achieved. Greatness can be defined as “remarkable in degree of effectiveness, distinguished, superior in quality, remarkably skilled.” However, the key to achieving greatness is not ultimately found in your GPA, the school of your choice or your career path. It cannot be discovered in your personality, temperament or your talents. The key to achieving true greatness is your character. Regardless of your circumstances, if your attitudes and behavior are of superior quality and significantly skilled, you can break through any barrier, overcome obstacles, transcend and limitation and maximize any opportunity that come your way. You must commit to and maintain a tenacity that never permits you to give up. You must posses a relentless grip on your personal pursuit for greatness. You must also be forewarned that the road will not always be easy. There will be a myriad of obstacles, opposition and difficultly. But remember that it is always too soon to quit. In spite of our circumstances, keep pressing forward, even when the going is rough. Be like the postage stamp-stick to one thing until you get there. Eventually you will arrive. As Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “By perseverence the snail reached the Ark.” Stay focused. Remain determined. You may have talent, but without tenacity it will be wasted. You may do well academically, but without tenacity it will go unrewarded. Always remember that true greatness come through diligent, tenacious hard work. Learn to differentiate and maximize those significant moments. Why? Because you are just a short step away from greatness. Press on and just do it.