We all have our ideas on what success looks like. It could be winning a state or national championship. It could be getting a personal best in our event. It could be setting a school record. It could even be something as simple as setting the clock back an hour to make sure we give enough time in the morning for that workout we keep avoiding.
The world has its idea of success: Be the best. Be you. Be bold. Acquire more. Make it to the top.
According to God, His idea of success looks different. To God, success is staying in step with Christ and connecting with Him. Success is living out each day loving Him, loving others and resting in our identities as sons and daughters of the King. Success is taking a hurt to Him instead of snapping a quick response when someone offends us. Giving a tired worker at the store a warm smile and word of encouragement. Getting up an hour earlier to ensure we have enough time to listen and talk with God.
What motivates us for this success? Looking to God and seeing His delight in us.
Sometimes, the extra commitment wears on us, and it takes a while to get used to new habits. But God knows what we need, when we need it, and the exact steps, connections and growth to set us up for success in Him.
“How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams[a] that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” –Psalm 1:1-3
To the world’s standards, success might look upside down. But to God, His definition of success is everything. When we delight in His instruction, we absorb His wisdom in our hearts and minds, and it takes hold and transforms us. His approval is what we’re after, no longer tempted by the world’s short-lived ideas.
Staying connected to the source of our peace, joy, love, hope and goodness is true success. Jesus is after our hearts, embedded in genuine relationship.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” –John 15:5
God looks beyond our current situations and sees the bigger picture. And His goal is for us to stay close to Him and become more like Jesus. When we stay connected, success begins to look like the fruit that’s produced in our lives.
When we grow in Christ, our hearts look more like His. The things that once concerned us, like the drive for success in our performance or what other people say about us, becomes less important. In its place is the heart of God, our eyes aligning to see what He sees. We begin to pray for the teammate who is struggling to find his or her place, or we share a word of encouragement with a young coach navigating the new world of coaching at a university.
Look at the world around you: Who needs the grace of God’s truth today?
Remaining in Him, relying on His character and promises, sets us up for long-term success that keeps us grounded when the ways of culture shift and shake. Teams change, coaches come and go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
There is no greater win than opening your heart to the love and rule of Jesus.
There is no greater win than sharing the gift of salvation with those around you, letting them know how loved they are by a good and faithful God.
Choose the greater win of Jesus and remain in Him. Stay in step with Him and you’ll have all the success that truly matters.
Read the rest of the article to learn what true success looks like.