“Nothing fails like success.”
“Failure is not final.”
I hear these phrases a lot. I appreciate the men and women who share things like this. Regardless of how many times we hear that success isn’t everything we still are inadvertently giving success a definition. The same for failure. No it’s not final, but you are still saying it was failure.
There is a great article by Carley Sime in Forbes magazine about Failure and Success. They define them as this:
Success, noun. The state of living and working according to our values
Failure, noun. The state of living and working in a way that isn’t aligned with our values
I can get behind this, and I think you can too. I would only change one thing: instead of our values I would put God’s values or values we see in the Word of God.
With this as our starting point, let’s look at Success and Failure, newly defined, in our lives.
1. Failure is not final but can be fatal. Forgive me Winston Churchill, but just ask Samson. Ask David. Ask Abraham. Should I go on?! Let me scream it from the top of the mountain: Failure is NOT FINAL! You do not have to be defined by your past or your mistakes. But...
...there are consequences to those actions. Pictures can resurface 20 years later. Things that you say, post, text and share don’t always disappear. This is your life, protect it. No one else will. It’s up to you.
These things can be fatal. They can and will destroy you. Satan is already trying to kill, steal and destroy, why are we making his job easy?!
2. Success is not certain and looks like surrender. Let me explain. Some things in life are certain. 2 + 2 = 4. The sky is blue, the grass is green. Most of life does not look that way though. If success was certain, everyone would be successful. Again, I am not saying success in previous definitions of it. Living out God’s values and plans for our life is not always certain.
This is where surrender comes in. We cannot live our lives our own way on our own terms. That is not success...even if you make millions. Our job is surrender. Our job is to live according to God’s values. This is going to look a lot like work. It’s going to look a lot like sacrifice. It’s going to be worth it.
When we stand before the throne of God and He smiles at you and says, “Well done,” you will know success because you learned surrender.
There is value in self-help and 5-step programs. Remember, they are not certain. They worked for someone, but may not work for everyone. We must be diligent.
“Don’t grow weary...”
“Study to show yourself approved...”
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:3-4 NLT
Failure is lurking in the other side of success, just as success is not too far behind failure.
Follow the decrees of God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to direct your steps and thoughts. Work hard. Get back up. Stand for something. Believe in Someone. Success is yours, go get it!