Measure ‘success’ by cheerful giving and grateful acceptance
Success is a popular subject and an exciting attitude that fuels the imagination and drives our motivation. The fervent desire to succeed seems to be embedded within our DNA, and I see nothing wrong with an honest inspiration to accomplish certain goals. Even the Bible talks about “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” and refers to winning and being victorious as a spiritual blessing in accordance with God’s perfect will.
Yes, success can be satisfying if our motives are pure, but the real objective may be to understand what it really means. It’s not a sin to be proud of our accomplishments; in fact, we pray for our children’s success and encourage them as they pursue their dreams. However, good fortune – even though associated with a healthy and normal progressive lifestyle – can be interpreted differently according to whether we are pursuing our desires or following God’s instructions.
Wealth is usually associated with accomplishment, but true success is not always dependent on money. Finances are a vehicle that can do amazing things when God is allowed to be in control, and since He wants to be the ultimate decider of each individual’s direction, we acknowledge Him as the one who allows success to manifest.
For those who claim to yield their will unto God, this obedience also includes all decisions including our business affairs. When Christ is allowed to become Lord of our heart, we are also inviting Him to be our financial adviser.
His vision is to use us as a vessel to pour through instead of us building huge bank accounts and hoarding earthly treasures. Our heavenly Father manages everything with perfect wisdom and holy truth, and His plans are constantly trying to weave the paths of men and women together for the good of all. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to be selfish and rebellious and are usually so focused on ourselves that we rarely comprehend or care what God is trying to tell us.
Some might say they would be generous and help others if they had more resources, but this is usually only an excuse for not giving a part of what they already have. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “We make a living by what we get – we make a life by what we give.”
It has been said that waiting until we are rich to bless others is a smokescreen trying to hide our lack of faith and love. Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” So, we can conclude that giving has everything to do with an attitude of compassion.
There are reasons why the Lord of heaven might open a door to wealth, but there are many others that could explain why He keeps them locked. Whatever the case may be, He has the power and authority to bless us with rooms of gold, but thankfully He also has the divine discernment to protect us from being ruined by it.
He knows our intentions and what we will do before we are given success, and I also believe there are special situations where we are tested to see if we have any inclination whatsoever to seek the bigger picture of why this is happening. God longs for His children to wake up and realize that we are just a spoke in the wheel, and having our barns filled with plenty is His plan to use us as a distribution center.
One of our Lord’s most notable attributes is giving, and everyone who claims to be filled with His nature will recognize and cheerfully follow His promptings. We cannot out-give God as He is pleased when we become a trusted steward.
Collecting and accumulating can be a result of pride and create a false sense of power and security. An obsession to accumulate could also possibly hinder our spiritual relationship with Christ and distract us from our divine destiny. Maya Angelou said, “when we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Instead of thinking that life is a game to see who can accumulate the most, may we realize from His perspective it’s actually about who can give the most away.
DR. BILLY HOLLAND lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community chaplain. To learn about his free CD offer, visit billyhollandministries.com.