This is one question many have been looking for answers to in life. A lot of people have engaged in several activities in life, good or bad, in order to be successful.
However, the true definition of success remains a mirage or an individual perception. In some communities, success is determined by the size of one’s farmlands, number of children, amount of money and even in some cases, the number of women one is able to marry.
There are those who limit success to academic laurels such as degrees and awards they gain in life. The world is even able to measure a person’s worth through their wealth and that becomes a determinant of success. Popularity of fame cannot be ruled out in how success is measured in some jurisdictions.
Per these definitions or perceptions, a lot of those who failed to make it to the limelight in their academic pursuits or wealth-gathering, are considered failures.
At this point, one may still be wondering what success is, if all these do not determine success. Perhaps it is something mysterious that has been hidden from humans.
In the Bible, the Lord spoke Joshua about how he could be successful in life, “This book of the law shalt not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success Joshua 1: 8.
This may be the best formula for success but how does one measure success after meditating upon the word and doing accordingly.
Prior to giving Joshua the formula for success, God gave him an assignment to fulfil. The assignment was to lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land, an assignment Moses couldn’t finish off before he died.
The assignment God gave Joshua was, in effect, the criteria for measuring his success. For that matter, the Lord who gave him the assignment is the only one to determine his success or otherwise on earth.
So, success isn’t about how much one is able to gather in terms of money or other properties on earth, but rather how far they have fulfilled their assignment on earth. “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he ppossesseth” Luke 12: 15.
Interestingly, wealth or rich have very little in common with success. Gathering wealth or riches may not necessarily be success except if one uses it to accomplish the assignment given unto them on earth.
Wealth and riches are good and very important in one’s life on earth; but when one’s desire to get rich or become wealthy is driven by an intent to enjoy life in their own way instead of using wealth to make their lives pleasing to God in fulfilling their mission on earth, they become a snare and a hindrance to their success.
The first and foremost step to success in life is to know one’s assignment on earth. Failure to grasp this truth could make one’s life a waste, except if God in His own divine way, compels a person to undertake the assignment under divine circumstances. An example is Jonah, who was forced to preach to the people of Nineveh, under some ‘duress’.
Many may be considered successful in life, but before God, are great failures because they never knew their assignment to follow after it or were distracted by the attractiveness of other professions or endeavors.
Such persons could be compared to a player who is brought into a soccer match by their team’s coach to ensure the team wins. Assuming the player was brought into the game with the assignment of ensuring an opponent like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t score any goal in the match. However, when he came into the game, he decided to go and score instead of stopping the opponent’s deadliest striker, Messi or Ronaldo, from scoring. Then, he manages to score one of the best goals, as a defender, to the admiration of the fans and media. At the end of the match, his team loses by 7-1, with the deadliest striker scoring all the goals.
The player might get good publicity for scoring a beautiful goal but would have failed his coach, his team mates and fans. Until he becomes conscious of what he has done, he would be enjoying his own glory, oblivious of the effects of his actions, especially as the team misses out on great opportunities as a result of that loss.
The same applies to many Christians today, who have allowed the quest for riches and fame, to drive them far away from the assignment they were sent to perform on this earth. They get carried away by the false definition of success and end up failing God.
Success isn’t measured by what you acquire on this earth. It is measured by the extent to which one performs their God-given assignment on earth and it takes ONLY God to tell who is successful or who failed. Man’s definition of success, which has been conferred on many as a result of how rich they are or what they have achieved on earth, may not be any close to what God sees as success.
The spoon’s success in the kitchen is defined differently from the knife’s; and, the fork’s success is determined differently from that of the plate. They came to the kitchen on different assignments, though they work together on the dining table. The spoon need not be as sharp as the knife to be successful and neither does the knife need to be pointed as the fork to be successful. Success is based on the extent to which one fulfils their God-given assignment or mission on earth.
There are many who would never be rich or popular but would be declared successful persons by the God who gave them their assignment on earth. To be successful, identify your assignment and begin fulfilling it before it is too late.
If you don’t know your assignment, then just take time off to seek God’s direction on why He brought you on this earth. If not you might be following after a mirage.
Author: Theodore Mawuli K. Viwotor, Pastor of The Word In Action Church, Ghana Branch.
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