Am I a Success?

I graduated high school, college, and graduate school with honors.

I’ve never been fired, arrested, or addicted to anything illegal.

I helped raise two children to become responsible God-fearing adults.

I served hundreds of hours in community service and not the court appointed kind.

Add to that thousands of hours of evangelistic outreach.

I’ve taught hundreds of children the truths of God’s Word.

Add to that the thousands of adults I’ve taught in various churches and events.

My prayers have been answered in miraculous ways.

I’m published in several magazines and completed one book…so far.

I have a blog read by, well I’m not sure how many, but at least a few.

I have a number of good friends, and only a few foes.

If these quantify success, well then, I guess I am successful.  But I’m not sure that listing my accomplishments is how I want to be defined.  I’m so much more than a list of completed tasks.

Mark Batterson in his book The Circle Maker challenges the readers to write a personal definition of success.  Before I give you my own, let me share a few favorite quotes from the book.

  • Success is not circumstantial.
  • It’s not about being in the right place at the right time; it’s about being the right person, even if you find yourself in the wrong circumstances.
  • Success is spelled stewardship, and stewardship is spelled success.
  • Potential is God’s gift to us; what we do with it is our gift back to God.
  • Success is living life with such authentic integrity that those who know me best actually respect me most.
  • If you don’t have a personal definition of success, chances are you will succeed at the wrong thing.  You’ll get to the end of your life and realize that you spelled success wrong.  And if you spell it wrong, you’ll get it wrong.

I don’t want to wait until the end of my life to see if I’m right or wrong.  I need to know daily.  As I lay my head on my pillow and before my eyes close, I want to hear an enthusiastic “Well done!” from my Lord.

I purpose the following 3-part definition:

  1. In everything I do, God is glorified.  Therefore I must love well, forgive much, and serve sacrificially.  In my work, play, and rest, I must be in tune to the prompting of the Spirit with immediate obedience so I can hear His every ‘well done!’
  2. To use His power in me to the fullest extent.  That means I will teach with authority, pray with power, and write with passion.  In those times when He uses me beyond my comfort zone or present calling, it will be His power, strength, and grace at work in me.
  3. Success is enjoying life in abundance.  Living with inexpressible joy, peace beyond understanding, complete forgiveness, and grace beyond measure.

How will I know I’ve succeeded?  When the world is a better place because I’ve been here.  When people want to be around me.  When others want the Jesus in me.

How about you?  How would you define success?


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