A Measure of Success. (Day 2 from Cleansing Thoughts)
As I began to take inventory of what had resulted from these interviews and what the world as a whole considers successful, my list looked something like this: to a mother, it is raising her children to be responsible adults. To a father, it is providing for his family’s needs and being able to give them a stable home. To a businessman, it is obtaining a high position on the corporate ladder. To those in the medical profession, it is the ability to increase the quality of life for others. To some, it might even be the accumulation of wealth in both finances; possessions, and position within the community. Others believe it is the gaining of knowledge and powder. All these things are what the world looks to when measuring the success of an individual. And I am not saying, but have you ever asked yourself what God sees as success in a man's life? In 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul gives us a glimpse into the heart of God concerning believers being influenced by the world’s values. He states, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1:27-29, NKJV). Have you ever asked yourself why God, in all His wisdom, chose to reverse the standards by which the world lives? The reason is found in verse 25 of the same text, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Man saw me as having nothing to offer, while on the other hand, God saw me as having everything to give!
The scripture the Lord led me to read was in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, when Jesus states, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (verse 26, NKJV). When we begin to base our success on things, money, or position, we are placing ourselves in eternal danger. Remember when Jesus counseled the young rich ruler when he asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life? Jesus told him to sell all that he had and distribute it to the poor, but when the young man heard this, he became very sorrowful. You see, this young man was looking to his wealth for his security, and in doing so, he exchanged his soul. Let’s go back for a minute to the beginning of the text in Matthew 16 and look at the section of scripture starting with verse 24. The text is talking about becoming a disciple of Christ. When we accept Him as our savior, inwardly, we became a new person. Our past and all it included was transformed into who we are becoming in Him. The Word says, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV). And with this inward change, our goals in life also should change as well. Before, we saw things as the world does, and we strived, for things of the world, but place the things of God first in our lives. The Word says to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. To do this, we must renounce ire self-centered ambitions. Even our feelings are to be set aside in order to live our life by faith and not by sight. You see, I thought I knew who I was in Christ, but I had allowed these people to lessen my self-worth by imposing their opinions on me.