Success that Matters
…by Chuck Graham
The world is consumed with failure.
People talk of achieving something, but success is more often about avoiding failure. Success moves from desire to need to requirement. For many, it is the standard by which our effort, our work, our life, our worth…is measured.
We are told it is through failure that we succeed. Okay. But while failure is crystal clear, what is success? The world says it’s about personal goals, wealth, status, being famous…never mentioning it’s all quite elusive and temporary. We can never get enough.
But failure? That can stay with us a lifetime, dragging us into depression and self-hatred. And many will gladly help us descend that downward spiral. You see, their success requires that we fail. Sounds pretty miserable, doesn’t it? But there’s a better way.
In the long run, success isn’t what we think it is.
History tells of men who openly talked about someone named Jesus and shared what He had taught them. Those in power didn’t like it. They had a hand in his death, though he had committed no crime. So they locked the men in jail and ordered them to be silent.
Yet they escaped and returned to sharing with the people. Those in power were angry and had them arrested again, but this time they wanted the men put to death. Then a respected teacher stood and said something rather important about failure and success.
Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them.
Words alone mean little. What we do means everything.
Pursuing our dreams is not necessarily bad. But for us who claim to be Christian, ultimate success is simply doing our best to follow Jesus. The world’s success is based on expectations. Mine, yours, people we don’t know. Ultimate success, however, is based on Jesus’.
Does anyone always live up to our expectations? No. Our expectations are often ridiculous. They’re more about people following us, doing what we say, being who we want. But Jesus’ expectations are simple: Love and encourage others. Respect them. Don’t tear them down.
Regardless of what we believe about Jesus, we succeed when we make every effort to live as He said we should live, treating others as He said they should be treated. Imagine what would change if love was more than just a four letter word, but real action. Well, everything.
Take care & be God’s,
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
The above quote is based on Acts 5:38-39, NIV.