Do you ever feel that everyone else is getting on and you are not? The others- whoever they are – are succeeding and you seem to be stuck. When you see their success (and at their age!) you alternate between despondency, resentment and jealousy. It’s not that you’re a failure it’s just that you don’t feel a success. It’s certainly a feature of our work culture today that we live in a world where, as psychologist Oliver James puts it, “Winners feel like losers.”
What’s going on? Why do you feel that the others are succeeding and why
do so many feel that in spite of their achievements they are not doing
Beneath this type of thinking is the notion that there is a way of
measuring success. Subconsciously we have measured ourselves on this
scale and felt that we were not good enough. But what is this scale?
Which numbers do you use? Where is the tape measure or formula
which calculates your success quotient? Although not irrelevant,
money is rarely seen as the sole measure of success, especially by those
who have lots of it. Success, for many of us, seems to have something
to do with achievement. How much do you have to achieve to be a
success? If you win the Premier League but not the Champion’s League
are you not a success? Maybe health or family are the real areas in
which success should be measured.
Jesus Christ had a simpler definition. “Eternal life is to know me,” he
said. He seemed to imply that knowing him was the sole measure of
success. He told stories about homecomings or finding lost sheep or
coins. He spoke of working for pearls or stumbling on treasure but all
the pictures point to knowing him. In a sense, everything else is just
detail or bonus. So the question is, do you know him? If you do, your
life is a success. You have succeeded in the most important area. Your
eternal issues are resolved. This does not imply that you now sit
around and do nothing but that whatever else you do proceeds from
the position that you are already a success. This is your source of
energy and motivation. But this is also your guideline; it’s not that you
don’t run, it is that now you are in a different race.
Both the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus were wealthy. Popular
opinion would have put the ruler much higher on the success scale than
Zacchaeus but when they met Jesus, one found his way and the other
didn’t. Popular opinion may still have judged the young man a success
but Zacchaeus had found the pearl. Now he could do his job properly.
Now he could be free on the inside. He had met the Lord and now he
could be called a success. Whether anyone agreed or not, his life was a
success. He could still have looked at others with envy but he had no
need to do so. He now knew Jesus Christ. This is success.
John 17:1- 5
1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 2″Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
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