What is Success?

Luke 22:24-27 – Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.  Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

How do you define success?  Is it accomplishing great feats?  Is it making great gains or strides?  Is it defeating all foes who stand in your way?  Is it making a name for yourself?  According to Webster’s Dictionary success is defined as favorable or desired outcome; also the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.

I would say that this is definitely how the world sees success.  If you win a majority of your games you are ‘successful’ as a team or coach.  If you make a lot of money you are ‘successful’ as an individual.  If you become prominent or famous you are a ‘success’ in life.  But are you really a true success?  Well, it all depends on what you view success is.

As a basketball coach I feel that I define success in other terms then just wins and losses.  I tend to look at things like John Wooden did.  He didn’t define success as wins, but as being the best that you are capapble of being.  If you did you best to become all that God designed you to be, you were successful… it had nothing to do with winning.  In fact he viewed records as something others used to define you… it was how others viewed you and had no real bearing with how successful you were/are as a team.

It is hard to get a team to grasp this comment.  I can tell then over and over again that all I want to see is them working hard, having fun and doing the best that they can do.  To me doing that is a success.  BUT as a team and as individuals they have to buy it.  They have to go beyond what the ‘world’ deems as success, get past the records and trust that success is not just how the world or others define you, but how I see them and more importantly how God sees them!

How does God define success.  Does he define it in ways that we see it today, or something that may seem foreign to us?  I would definity have to lean towards the latter.  Just look at some of the people that God used in the Bible… fisherman, tax collectors, and prostitutes.  People that were definitly not the ‘success stories’ in society.  Interesting.

Look at how he defines greatness when His disciples were fighting about who would be the greatest among them (who the world would view as a success). Christ told them that ACTUALLY the one who was the greatest was the one who would make himself the least, the one who would serve.  One who didn’t push his name, worldly success, or prominence onto others, but one who put others before himself who gave his or her all to the cause with no desire for personal glorification or recognition.

How hard is that?  Pretty hard.  We all want to be a ‘success’.  We all want to be remembered in some way.  We all want to make a mark.  We all have bought into what the world views as a success at least in some part.  Just as I ask my team to buy into what I view as a success, we also need to alter our view on success.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that we will own a large company, be president, play pro ball, etc. But TRUE success is accomplishing what God has designed/created you to do.

For some that may be in a place of prestige for others it may not.  But we are to live for Him with ALL that we are.  To give our lives to Him so that He can use us for His glory.  It is all about Him and not us.  Is it a challenge?  Most definitely!  But one that I am learning to daily strive for.  I am learning to buy his definition of success for me and not my own.  To serve Him and put others before myself.  To live for Him with all I am!  I am not there yet and will probably never get there, but I am daily learning to redefine success.

How about you?  Does ‘success’ need to be redefined in your life?

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