How do we (he, me) define success? He explained how “Type A” he is. Goal oriented, get it done kind of guy. He sets goals and works to get them accomplished and when he does, he feels successful and gratified. That is me to a tee.
I have a “to do” list in my mind each and every day and when I can check them off the list it is exhilarating for me. Getting things accomplished is like a drug. I get high when I am done. (that may be a really bad analogy but it fits!)
When I cannot get the things done I want to, I really struggle. So I become a slave to my list. It is a mental list most of the time and it is always pushing it’s way into my thinking all day long. When I am in a meeting or a conversation it keeps popping up like a pop up on my computer screen. I have to minimize it over and over again until I can accomplish it and delete if for good. On a day when I get a lot of the things on my list done, it becomes what I deem a good day. Conversely, if I have a day that has unexpected curve balls and interruptions, and my list does not get to shrink, it is not such a good day.
Now even as I type this I realize how messed up my thinking is. I am just being honest. Lots of tasks accomplished equals a good day. Not many tasks accomplished equals a not so good day. I am at the mercy of that list and seeing it shrink!!!
Pastor Matthew shared how as he spent time getting quiet he felt the Lord whisper to his heart several things. As it related to his definition of success he realized that God defines success as FAITHFULNESS. And he felt the whisper of the Lord define faithfulness as… obedience out of love. That's it…. PERIOD. Faithfulness to what He has called us to do. Not the result of the activity but just the activity faithfully done. I was nailed. I am never satisfied with the activity alone. The results have to occur for me to feel successful. It is such a trap. It is not wrong to want the results, but to allow that to determine if I am successful is.
Matthew cited the life of Jeremiah, one of the major prophets in the bible. Not one person turned their life over to the Lord as a result of Jeremiah’s efforts. Yet, he was faithful to what the Lord had called him to do. His life and story was significant enough to become a key book in God’s word.
So what about you? How do you define success? I hope you will take a moment to reflect on this. If you have a distorted view of success, like me, consider allowing God to reframe your thinking. I am sure going to spend some time thinking and praying into this. I hope you will too!!