I Wanna Be a Success — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

I Wanna Be a Success — Morning Devotions

Success is discovering your God-given gifts and using them to fulfill your God-given destiny. God has made us to succeed in life.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsSunday 17 Jan 2021Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes

The name Mother Teresa of Calcutta needs little introduction. She is still well known and loved by millions of people. Her acts of love and compassion are known around the world—and her reputation remains untarnished.

One day she was visiting Ethiopia during one of the worst periods of drought and famine. She was caring for the needy, blessing dying children, at a time when many were dying at alarming rates. A reporter was following her around and asked if she got discouraged seeing so many people die of disease and starvation—despite her efforts, and those of her group, to help them. She was angry with the reporter and said, “We are not here to be successful. We are here to be faithful”. Of course it was a profound answer. One that opens up to me the whole meaning—what does it mean to be successful anyway?

The Many Definitions of Success

This is a complex question. And I’m sure your answer would be different to mine. But it’s worth exploring. There are many articles on life you can read on this topic. We read articles that promise to enlighten us on ‘How to Be Successful’. They always tell us to work hard, ask for a raise, be innovative, not to waste time being unproductive, not to surround ourselves with those loser friends who have no interest in climbing the proverbial ladder. Someday, these articles promise, enough hard work and the right amount of luck will make us successful—in other words, very rich and very powerful.

Attend any high-school reunion and the quiet whispers amongst the crowd will be about—other than who got fat, who got divorced, who died—who turned out to be really successful. In other words, who has the biggest bank balance or more impressive job title.

It seems that great achievement always correlates to money, power, possessions, and impressing other people. Everybody wants to be successful and they wanted to be associated with success. Every mother wants her son to be successful. Every woman wants to marry a successful man. Some may define success as being a loving and faithful spouse or a caring and responsible parent, while most people would equate success with wealth, fame, and power. We all want to achieve success so we could live a comfortable life—have financial freedom, drive a nice car, and live in a beautiful house. I’m sure that’s what many people dream about—living the dream life as a success.

What Real Success Is

I think a simple definition of success is getting all the things you want in life. And that could be to do with power, money and prestige—how impressive I look to others, and what they think of me. Mother Teresa certainly was not after any of those things. In fact she was asked once why she never married. And she said, “Because I was too ugly”. Her idea of success was very different to others. People are always talking about success. It’s a word we hear often and an idea that seems to be constantly dangling in front of our faces—just out of reach.

But what does it mean? How, exactly, does one measure ‘success’?

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A person once wrote to highly respected evangelist Billy Graham: “What do you think it takes to become a successful person? I’d like to quit my job and start my own business, but I know it’s a big step and I want to make sure I’ll make a success of it.” And Billy Graham said:

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself how you would define success? In other words, what do you think it takes to make a person successful? If you’re like most people, you probably think of success in terms of money, or maybe power or public approval.

But are these the real measure of a successful person? Not really. Think of Jesus for a moment. Would you call him a ‘success’? I doubt it—not if you define success only in terms of wealth or power or popularity. On one occasion Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58 ESV). The people of his day rejected him, and the authorities executed him as a common criminal. After his death, Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb.

No individual has made a greater impact for good on the world than Jesus.

And yet no individual has made a greater impact for good on the world. The reason is because Jesus was committed to something far more important than money or power or prestige. He knew the most important thing in life was following God’s will.

Make it your goal to seek God’s will, and then to do it—for that is true success. Begin by committing your life to Jesus Christ, asking him to forgive your sins and take control of your life. Then ask him to guide you as you make decisions about your future. Jesus’ command is for you: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 – NIV).

Success is not having prestige, position or prominence. Success is not having your name up in lights and enjoying the applause and accolades of men. Success is discovering and doing the will of God for your life. Success is fulfilling the purpose for which God created you in the first place. Success is discovering your God-given gifts and using them to fulfill your God-given destiny. God created us to succeed; you and I were made to win! God has given us everything we need to succeed in life.