I looked up how many titles have “success” in them on Amazon books and came up with over 6,000 titles. In contrast, titles with “failure” in terms of ‘how to’ were 9. It suggests to me how we tend to overrate success in our culture and underrate failure. Does God look at success and failure the same way we do? I think not.
For example, we usually measure success by how much money or how many things
you have accumulated over the years. But in God’s economy, success is measured
by faithful obedience. Jesus said, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant’ to
both the servants who received differing amounts of silver (Matthew 25).
‘Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful’ (1
In man’s kingdom, success is measured by things like independence, personal
strength, and survival of the fittest. But in God’s kingdom, success involves
embracing dependence upon God and understanding that when we are weak, He is
In John 15 we are reminded that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. The
closer the connection between the two, the better; we become stronger in our
weaknesses. The last part of verse 5 says, ‘For apart from me, you can do
nothing.’ Paul, the Great Apostle who wrote much of our New Testament,
performed miracles, endured all kinds of trials, hardships, and tests
concluded, ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong,’ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
I have one last thought on success as measured by God instead of how the world
measures it. With God, success is measured by our resiliency- the ability to
become strong or successful after something bad happened, to recover after the
wind has been knocked out of you, to get up when the chips are down, to keep
our eyes on the prize. Success, no matter what the hardship, difficulty,
problem, burden, or pain, is being able to say what Paul said at the end of his
life. ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have remained
faithful’ (2 Timothy 4:7).
Are you successful the way God measures success? If so, what do you need to
keep doing to continue being successful? If not, what changes do you need to
make so you can finish the race well and hear the words, ‘Well done my good and
Mark "The Bru" Brunott
P.S. If I were to ask you, “Are you a grace-filled person?” How would you
answer? How can you tell? For that matter, what is grace? Join us this Sunday
morning at 9:15 or 11:00 AM to discover what the Bible has to say about being a