Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Heard an excellent message on Sunday morning. The topic: “How do you define success?” Pastor Greg was speaking from the book of Luke – the portion on “The Beatitudes” – where Jesus is speaking “Kingdom” concepts to the crowd and especially the disciples. He was speaking things that were in direct contradiction to the way human nature and limited senses allowed them to comprehend. They always had trouble understanding what Jesus was trying to teach them because it went against everything they were taught – everything they knew. They saw Him with people – heard Him teach walked right there beside Him – working crowds of people with such grace and mercy – healing people and dealing with things without impatience or crankiness. But they still did not understand Him – and they were right there with Him. Today we still don’t get it – even though we have the Bible – and many writings from scholars and very wise intellectuals to help us be “enlightened” and “informed” on what scripture said and what Jesus really meant when He said it. Our ways are so much different from His. Our definitions of “greatness” have more to do with “power” and “being the best” than it does with being “meek” and “humble” – even “poor in spirit”. We care more about how we look to those around us – than just simply doing what’s right. Even though we know from what we read here that the “last will be first” and that success here on earth is very different from success with God.
This led to the question – “how do you define success?” – and more importantly, “how do you define your success?” What will people say about you will you die? My husband deals with this all the time when he councils with grieving families – preparing to do a someone’s funeral service. He will meet with the family and hear their stories. How does their family remember them? Was it their spotless house? Their finely manicured lawn and beautifully landscaped yard? Did they have many possessions but no happiness? Did they invest in people? What do their friends and family say about them? Do they even have anything nice they can say about them? Sometimes – there isn’t much nice to say. Sometimes the person was never able to give love – never showed any compassion to anyone – never had any friends. Sad, sad, sad.
But the happier funerals have been where the one that passed on was a positive influence – and a happy person – one who had found the secret of success in their own personal life – and lived it out. Creating a legacy from personal success – a relationship with Jesus – the giver of ultimate joy and peace – and one who surrounded themselves with good people in their lifetime – who learned from mistakes – pulled themselves up time and time again – who would not give in – or give up. Who loved people and had love returned back to them. Who was happy in what they did – and was content.
I love the quote at the top of this article – because I would have to say that success for me is doing something that I feel I have been gifted in – and doing it with my whole heart and soul – loving God, my family and friends with everything in me – being a positive encourager and lover of people – and finding that all the joy and happiness that is given away – is again brought back to me full circle and running over. That to me – is success.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
And like Paul in this scripture – I want to do my best to live this out in my own life. I know I do not hit the mark all the time – but it is my ultimate goal. I am still learning. I am still on a journey. A journey to learn to be contented – and find success through contentment.
I am praying for you tonight – that you too would find the secret of “being content” and also be able to write your own “personal” statement of success.