What’s the true measure of “success”?


This past week, in our Truth@Work roundtables, we had a time of reflection. Periodically, we encourage our members to reflect back over business, personal, and spiritual challenges in their lives. In the day-to-day, we often lose track of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. In some cases positively and others negatively; however, how do we truly judge this?

This month a theme that stood out to me were the number of people who were challenged in the “success” of their businesses. By the world’s standards as well as many of our personal standards, these businesses are in difficult times and wouldn’t be viewed as “successful”. Because of this, a few of these members were in a period of discouragement. Given this, we had a bit of discussion around our “measuring stick”.

Most would acknowledge that the world measures “success” by material wealth, possessions, titles, popularity, and the likes. What if, these are the wrong measuring sticks? In fact, what if “success” in these areas is actually making it harder for us to achieve “true success”?

While a topic for more in depth discussion on another day, the Bible states:

“And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.””(Matthew 19:23, 24 ESV)

Folks, the “world” is the wrong measuring stick! The only measuring stick of “true success” is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, as Jesus says, those who are “rich” (by the way, you likely are “rich”) are truly spiritually disadvantaged. Because we don’t have to depend on God daily, we sometimes stumble as we elevate ourselves a bit too high.

So, going back to our meeting, as I ask the question to our members, “Have you grown in your personal relationship in Christ through these difficult challenges?” The unanimous answer from everyone was “yes”! Then, I said, “Well, then you likely have had one of the greatest “successes” of your life because the only measuring stick that matters is your personal relationship with Christ!”

If you’re finding yourself in a time of discouragement as you look out into the world, stop and ask yourself, “What does true success look like and am I using the right measuring stick?”

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