How do you define success? That’s very important if you’re going to finish well.
As I sit writing this at the age of almost 74, I am more excited than ever. Excited about life, family, ministry, friends, and the opportunities God has given me. I started ministry very insecure at the age of 28, and it seems that I have continued that way ever since, never really “feeling” like a success. No matter how many books I write or how many people I minister to or how many lives are changed, it never seems to be enough. I think it stems from a wrong concept of success. Most people would define success with words like results, achievement, or what I accomplished. Certainly, there’s merit in those things. But for me to properly define success I must look from God’s perspective.
So if I asked you for your definition of success, what would it be? Would it only be worldly things, carnal things, and things that will one day pass away? Maybe that’s why so many people quit along the way. They give up and go back because they never feel that they can grab the brass ring of life. The pot of gold is not there. So their philosophy of life becomes, “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried.”
In my old age, I have finally settled on a truth that has set me free— free from a performance-based ministry, free from the fear of man, and free from regret. Here it is, because the only definition I need for that kind of peace and freedom comes from God’s Word:
“We live, we die, and we face God. So ultimately, what He says is the bottom line.”
In Matthew 25, Christ was speaking of the talents and opportunities that a master had given to three different servants. When he called them to account, two of them had invested their talents with the opportunities they had. But one of them buried his talent. When you bury the talents and gifts that God has given you, you bury opportunity in the same grave. So about that one servant Jesus said he was “wicked and slothful.” But to the other two He declared them “good and faithful.”
Knowing that I will stand before God one day without any excuse, I want more than anything to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”