Young people coming out of high school, church youth groups, and family life, during their first 18 years, have developed many beliefs and mindsets, one of which pertains to success. Our society and culture defines it one way; the Church tries to clarify it another, and your high school yearbook probably picked a student who was labeled: most likely to succeed.
The problem is that even though everyone has something in mind when success is spoken of, no one actually comes out and says, "This is how you define success." Do you, young person, have a clear definition of success? Could you write out a God-centered definition of it?" This is important because you will not be successful the way God views success unless you have a clear understanding of what it is. Success does not just happen.
Let me state what success is not. Inspite of what society or school has told you, success is not measured by money or a luxurious life. The local church sometimes adds to the confusion because it either does not talk about it at all, or thinks of it like the world does, so as a result does not encourage it. To make matters worse there are some who go to the extreme and teach prosperity theology. To further entangle this thread of thought, you will probably not hear pastors get up in front of their congregation and say, "Become as successful as possible" and yet the Bible teaches success.
So, developing a clear concept and definition of success can become very confusing, but it is critical to your "success" in life. Let me suggest a few guidelines for a definition:
Success is a journey, not a destination.
Success is about who you become much more than what you do.
Success is using your spiritual gifts, abilities, talents, time, and resources to God's glory and to minister to other people.
Success is setting goals and constantly moving forward to further proclaim God's message of hope and healing, by asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7), and then walking through the doors that open to you.
Success is refusing to settle for less than God's best for your life.
Don't be like I was. I grew up in a theological culture that taught it was wrong for a Christian to become successful. I ended up with never having goals, and broke, until I got into my fifties. Then I began to change my thinking and doing things to reverse this trend. I don't have much money yet, but I have become a published author with a book on Amazon, and I am seeing a speaking ministry develop. Most importantly, I have had an incredible journy of becoming a better me.
Now it's your turn. It's time for you to formulate your definition of Godly success. There is a lot of truth to the old adage: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
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