The meaning of success to many people has many facets. That’s why, the majority of people tries so very hard to achieve it in their own ways and means. The simple saying, “Try and try until you succeed” becomes the mantra of many to overcome any obstacle along their way. In other words, failure is not an option but an opportunity. True enough, it has become the perennial companion of many successful entrepreneurs and inventors. But at what price did they pay to achieve such success? Is there any other way?
Mark Hatfield, is an American politician and educator from the state of Oregon tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful."
Mother Theresa of Calcutta summarized the most important prescription for success, i.e., faithfulness. It is what was given to Joshua before he took the leadership after Moses passed away as stated in Joshua 1:8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV)
Prosperity and success was guaranteed by God Himself when God’s word becomes their constant companion and guide to everyday living. In addition, by following with intent to obey what was written in the Holy Scriptures yields great gain. As the book of Proverbs 3:3-4 reiterates, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (NIV)
When we speak of success, it should be by having “favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Unfortunately, many only are successful in the eyes of man but unsuccessful in God’s sight. But when God is on your side, even failures become a success. When we adopt such perspective, we will begin to change our view of success and follow God’s prescription for genuine success and prosperity.
Without such attitude we could end up like these men at the height of their success yet failed miserably: Alexander the Great was not satisfied, even when he had completely subdued the nations. He wept because there were no more worlds to conquer, and he died at an early age in a state of debauchery. Hannibal, who filled three bushels with the gold rings taken from the knights he had slaughtered, committed suicide by swallowing poison. Few noted his passing, and he left this earth completely unmourned. Julius Caesar, 'staining his garments in the blood of one million of his foes,' conquered 800 cities, only to be stabbed by his best friends at the scene of his greatest triumph. Napoleon, the feared conqueror, after being the scourge of Europe, spent his last years in banishment.
These men were successful but why did they fell in such despair. The simple reason is this: God was not included in their success. What is success? Joshua followed God’s prescription and gained success in the process. The question is this: who will you follow that has the greatest success rate to date? Looking closely at the Scriptures, one will find that everything God spoke and prophesied was fulfilled to the last detail. Therefore, the choice is between God’s formula for success and man’s formula. I believe the debate is over because God has the obvious secret for success. And if you ask my opinion on the matter, I know that it works because I always experience it first-hand. Remember, God never lies and he does not intend to or He ceases to become God.
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