A Distorted View of Success

About 3 years ago, just shortly after I started writing on the original version of this blog, I had the opportunity to meet some people who were truly passionate about what they did.  After the weekend, I wrote a post about that and being surrounded by passion and success.  When I reflect back on that time and in the years before that, I truly realize that I had a real distorted view of what success looked like.  For years, success always stemmed from business and career successes, whether starting your own business and working your way up the ladder in a company.  While continued growth in theses areas can certainly be good, there is one fatal flaw that I didn’t realize before.  None of this can be considered success, especially if a key ingredient is missing from it all.  That key is none other than Jesus Christ.

It’s quite interesting to look at life in this way and how being transformed and made new in Christ, not only changed my life, but changed my thoughts and how I see the world.  Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  That’s what happens when you finally let go and let your life fall onto the only one that can restore you.  Your thoughts and views completely change.

Back to looking at success, this renewing of the mind helps me to see that success in this life only comes through Jesus.  Our significance in this life is only possible through Christ.  In short, that is the only source of success.  I am not going to be defined by the money I make or where I work.  It is just not going to happen any longer.  So where does that leave me in this life.  Essentially, it opens the doors to a freedom I had never known before.  A freedom that cannot come through things of this world.  It allowed me to see that the focus of life had to change and I needed to begin doing life in a way that brings glory to God, not shut Him out.  So now we move forward with a new outlook and a renewed understanding of purpose.

This is something critical for everyone to remember.  In our fallen state, it’s so easy to search for our significance in this life in what we do and then think that doing well there or anywhere else means success. The distortion of the enemy is that this is not possible.  Significance in this life is not possible apart from Christ.  Larry Crabb makes a great point that, “so much of our Christian activity (or may I add, any other activity for that matter) is motivated by a personal desire to win someone’s approval and hence become acceptable.” We are justified in Christ however and therefore the approval of anyone is not needed because Christ deemed us acceptable by His works.

So think about your motivations in this world.  See what is driving you.  If your motivations are self-driven, then it’s time to reassess.  Let God consume you and your perspective will be completely different.  Trust me!

“When you become consumed by God’s call on your life, everything will take on new meaning and significance. You will begin to see every facet of your life – including your pain – as a means through which God can work to bring others to Himself.” –   Charles Stanley

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