Success never comes easily. Over time, I have learned that true success is never reflected by outward appearance, because it has everything to do with the state of the heart. This is why it is so difficult for people to actually feel they’re successful, because they’re not putting in work where it will last.
Sure, anyone could build their lives into a perfect picture with the right materialistic things and a white picket fence, but those things are not what hold us together when life takes its detours. What holds us together is the constant surrender of our lives to Christ. In my life, success has more to do with the work of God in me than the work of my hands. As I actively invite the Lord to subdue more of my heart, His will in me is being done, and my purpose is being fulfilled. The difficult part about traveling this road to success is that it’s not easy to lay down one’s life for God, in fact it’s against our very nature.
It is believed that success looks a certain way on the outside; that it looks like financial security, or a family. However, some of the poorest and unsightly people are the most successful, for they know God and have a relationship with Him. Instead of storing up treasures in this life that won’t last, they are wisely “storing up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) that will last for eternity.
In the Bible, this theme of the paradox of success is clearly portrayed in Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” and it goes on. Our view of success should not be limited to the small scope this life when we face the reality of eternity. Why be so narrow-minded? Why do we “spend money on what is not bread, and labor for what does not satisfy” (Isaiah 55:2)? We were never meant to live this life for ourselves, we are to use this life to mature in Christ and let Him transform us to be like Him. Success is not found in building up my kingdom, but building up His.