What is my goal in life? How will I know I have been successful?
We are bombarded with social media, news reports, and magazines that constantly create an image of what success looks like. If you are famous, have money, are followed and sought after, that means you have “arrived.” People who win a prize, beat the record, or make a discovery, have achieved what someone else did not. Is that what it means to be successful?
These are not just secular measurements for achievement, it is in the Christian culture and lingo as well. We are encouraged to “Dream Big,” to long for “MORE,” and to “go the distance.” All of this is Biblical and in-line with God wanting His children to have faith to see great things accomplished. But, for who and why? It is so easy to get side-tracked and focus on ourselves, rather than God. There is such a fine line between achieving a goal so that God’s kingdom is advanced, and striving to win favor and self-satisfaction.
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are” Mother Theresa
I hear so many say, that they want to be on stage, write books, become famous or pastor the largest church in the USA. But, how many of us want to serve, win souls, touch one broken life at a time, or reach the lost in their neighborhood? If our life goal is to “make it BIG,” have we missed achieving the “BEST?” In order to get the “MORE,” if we compromise God’s call, have we lost the MOST?”
God’s Word gives us a warning…
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” Luke 9:24,25 NLT
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t work hard, do well, or bring honor to God by what we do. It is wonderful to celebrate growth in our churches and rejoice when more people respond to the opportunities we plan so they can grow in Christ. But, if we think having “big” numbers will make us successful, we are wrong. The test for all we do is to see if it has any eternal value, ask the questions:
- Will lives be changed?
- Are people hungering after God and longing to know Him and the power of His resurrection?
“Just give me Jesus!” Ann Graham Lots
Let’s face it…there are pastors who have achieved large attendance, but the people are entertained weekly and have not made a personal commitment to Christ. Of course, that can happen in a small church as well. The bottom line here is, what eternal impact are we making on the people we love (family, friends, neighbors and co-workers) and the people we serve? Have we honored God by how we live, the motives of our heart and just doing the simple tasks with integrity?
“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” Matthew 25:21 NLT
The cry of my heart is that my children and grandchildren will love Jesus, and desire to serve God with all their might. My goal in life is to live in such a way that my family and those I have contact with will want to know Jesus, find hope in this life and get ready for the life to come. I don’t need for people to know my name, I just want to be sure they know Jesus. I want to know my Savior so intimately that He shares with me requests on a daily basis and I fulfill them without hesitation.
Remember the old hymn: ‘He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me that I am His own!’
Dear Jesus, I feel the pressure of this world to be “something.” But, I would rather be nothing in people’s eyes, as long as I am what YOU want me to be! In fact, please be so visible in my life that others look beyond who I am, what I have done and just see you, Amen!