Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on success and failure

How do we define success and failure?
How does God define success and  failure? 

(We discussed this at our Bible study group last week, as part of our study on What Women Fear by Angie Smith.)  

When we consider this question in light of the Scriptures, we will see that our natural way of thinking about success bears little resemblance to God's.  Our priorities are not His!

When I say I had a successful day, I usually mean that things went smoothly; or, if they didn't, that I feel like I handled it well;  or that I got many things done that I wanted to get done. 

But what about the days that do NOT go smoothly?
Is it possible that some of those days could actually be, from God's perspective, our better days?  Could those days actually be more beneficial to us or the people around us than the "good" days?

 The truth is, we know little about God's greater plan.  The biggest success of my life may have been a sentence I spoke to a friend ten years ago.  Or, it may have been the time when my faith was almost gone, and I was crying out to Him in the chapel of a children's hospital.  It may have been a time when His strength upheld me in my weakness. 

Forgive me Lord, for worrying too much about my own achievements!  I do not always know what is best, and I certainly do not always choose what is best.  Yet, You give me daily grace with my daily bread.

 We are called to do the works of love that are in front of us.  Even though our best works are stained with sin, we trust that God in Christ who has had mercy on us will continue to have mercy on us.  Not only that, He can and will use His imperfect children to show His mercy to other people as we live out our vocations. 

He is a God who delights in showing mercy.

 Let us set aside thoughts of success and worries of failure, and let God be successful in His work of the salvation of His children.

Let us pray, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

And then, let us hold on to Him tightly through our whole lives as He does just that.

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