What Does It Take To Succeed? :: by Grant Phillips

In this country, among others, success is a big thing. Most of us think we have not succeeded if we have not arrived at certain plateaus of satisfaction. As far as the world is concerned, success is measured in many ways. Here’s some examples.

·        Bank account
·        Biggest house
·        Boat in the driveway
·        Yacht at the dock
·        Camper in the driveway
·        Nicest clothes
·        Most expensive jewelry
·        Alma mater
·        Level of education
·        Personal looks
·        Political office
·        Top dog at the office
·        Power over others
·        Desired occupation
·        Cars in the garage
·        Popularity

Surely that’ll do, but think about this. When we die our body is placed in the ground (or burial place). Our flesh then rots away and is overtaken by maggots. Soon we are nothing but a skeleton, and that too disintegrates.

Our bank account is now being spent by someone else. Our house is now owned by someone else. Others are enjoying our boat, yacht, camper and cars. Our clothes are given away. Our jewelry is sold. Our looks … well, read the previous paragraph. Our alma mater, level of education, occupation, political office, popularity and position at the office, are history. As far as the power we had over others, well forget that. We are totally powerless. We’re dead!

However, we aren’t really dead. Only our body is dead. We are still very much alive, and now we either are rejoicing in Heaven or in agony in hell. Either way, it’s all gone. All of it!

What really matters while we are on this earth? Do all those things I listed matter? Even for the Christian, do they really matter? As a Christian my reward is living on for eternity in Heaven with the Lord. If I’m not a Christian, I’m in for a rude awakening, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

What really matters while we are upon this earth is our relationship with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord and the relationship we share with others. That’s it! There is nothing else that matters in this life. There is nothing we will take with us to the grave, but that!

So where are our priorities? Are we really successful? Have we told others about Jesus? Have we shared Jesus with others by our actions? What kind of Christian parent have we been? Have we truly represented Jesus on the job? That and any thought or behavior as such, is being successful.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the examples I listed at the beginning. The question is, “What is really the most important thing to me?” “What makes me truly happy?” Jesus gave us the answer in the following passage. Keep in mind that the word “blessed” means “happy.”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:1-12)

Jesus also said in Matthew 6:33 when He was telling us not to worry, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Far too often we worry about all those things we think make us successful, but we can only have true success when in Christ and following His will.

Does this mean we should sell everything we have and live in a cave? No, not at all, it means we need to put Him first in every part of our life. Then will follow real success.

Grant Phillips

Email: grantphillips@windstream.net