I have been wondering about this idea called success for some time now. What is success or to be successful. The dictionary states:
1: outcome, result
2a: degree or measure of succeeding b: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.
3: one that succeeds.
Today, it seems to have a meaning much like the second in which we equate success with monetary and material gains. Is being successful when someone has achieved something that makes them happy? Can success be just living life? Is it one, all, a mix of, none of these or something completely difference all together?
As a Christian I feel that gaining wealth and material possessions is the opposite of success. If we do happen to have such things, we should give of them freely. The gospels seem to have more appreciation for those who have not or if they have they give what they have. So to me, that definition of success can be laid aside and forgotten.
If success is measured purely by happiness, then you are basing your success on a mere feeling which has the possibility of wavering day to day or even hour to hour. Also, there is no set way to measure this idea of success if this is how you see it. Here it is only a subjective matter. I kind of like this though because even if by the world’s standards you are not successful, you have the possibility to see yourself as successful. But this may cause you to seek only happiness in your life. Now I hope for all men to be happy with life, but seeking only happiness is an activity done in vain. This goes back to it being a mere feeling which can sway as a boat in the ocean’s waves. This search can also lead one down paths that only leave a man broken, unsatisfied, and constantly seeking. This is no way to live ones life. Just as we dismissed the last idea of success, I will dismiss this one as well.
This leads me to still wonder what success is. Could it be doing something great for the world? If this is the case then only a handful of people that have ever lived were successful. If this were my idea of success then I am left with the outlook that I will probably never be successful in life. How motivating.
I wonder if we are even qualified to judge if we or anyone else is successful. If we as Christians are meant to live life as God would like us to, then isn’t He the only one who is qualified to judge success. In other words, success would be striving after God and His desires. If that is the case, then I feel like I have fallen short of that, but by His grace I know that being successful will not come by my own power. This is something I am learning the difficult way right now. I desire to be successful but must learn that it only comes by God’s grace and following Him every step of the way.