A Successful Christian

There is an unfortunate perspective that creeps into the Body of Christ at

times which tends to twist the definition of success, making it much like the

world’s interpretation.  In so doing, significance becomes inseparable from those

shallow definitions.    

Such misperception can be exampled in a clouded view that God’s

expectations are not being met because you don’t do enough, touch enough lives,

spend enough time serving, or any host of items on a list of requirements.  At other

times it can be silly perceptions such as your worship lacks purity because you are

not jumping, shouting, dancing wildly or falling on the floor.  Or, you are

worshipping excessively, singing too loud, dancing with abandon, and therefore

irreverent and out of order.  People thus spy out the liberty of their brother,

demanding conformity to an expectation, measuring someone else’s success

thereby. Honestly, these types of misguided perceptions are why many churches

and Pastors measure the move of God amongst them by the response of the crowd

and steady numerical growth, rather than the person, presence and power of God

being the singular objective. It is an absurd standard to say the least.    

Never let anyone challenge your significance, nor let the expectation of

success assigned for you by others be the gauge of accomplishment. Success can

only be measured in the pleasure of our Father.  If I sound out my singular voice

like a small pebble cast into a vast ocean, can I measure my success by the tepid

response of people?  If I do, my small ripple will seem incredibly insignificant. 

Perhaps I cease to cast my pebble altogether because the potential for impact with

people on the pre-measured scale of accomplishment is minimal at best.  

But if I cast my small pebble for the pleasure of my Father, the joy of His

approval stands as the only success I need- the only ripple that matters.  Suddenly,

my small ripple seems so important.  If I cast my pebble faithfully, at the pleasure

of my Father, is that not great accomplishment in the eyes of God?  Though my

heart is for people, the power of my ripple is by no means measured by their

response, nor the volume of my success heard in the cry of approval from the

crowd.  One only need to look at the life of Jesus and know this to be true.  Crowds

came and went depending on their fickle response to the challenge of His

teaching.  In the end, virtually all abandoned Him in the hour of His greatest

success.  Whether they stayed or left never determined His course of action. The

driving motivation of His life was to always do those things that pleased the

Father; things the crowd often did not understand.

A friend of mine commonly asks, “If God calls you to sit in a cubical the rest

of your life, with no prominence amongst people or great following behind you,

would you be satisfied?”  Though the point is multi-faceted, it provokes the heart

to be content with who you are in Christ and let His pleasure be the measure of

your success.  If I live from such a place, impact on people around me is

inevitable.  After all, a small pebble from God slays giants, while a giant stone

from the world serves only as a weight upon the soul.