Success or Significance?

As we celebrate the birth of our savior this month, the last month of 2014, many minds will wrestle with the question was this a year of success or of significance. For many the answer will be obvious; it was a year of success. This will then launch them into telling their success stories of making more money, being promoted, entering a career of their dreams, finishing school, getting married, having their first, second, third, fourth, or fifth baby, buying the dream house, car, or garget, going on the dream vacation, and on-and-on goes the list of things that we might call success stories for the year about to end. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a successful list like that or even a better one. God does not have a problem with us being successful. However, life is not all about success; life is about significance. Life is about loving God and making other glad. In other words, loving God and loving neighbor as we love ourselves. Life is about faithfulness. When all is set and done and that will include the year just about to end and the one beginning in a few weeks, God is going to judge our work on the bases of faithfulness and not success.

If you are a student of Scripture you know what believers are looking forward to and hoping to hear from the mouth of Jesus is “good and faithful servant” not “good and successful entrepreneur.” Jesus is not going to be pleased with us based on the number of material things we acquired for ourselves here on earth but on how we dealt with others, especially those on the short-end of the stick - the poor and needy. It amazes me and should you that Jesus cares deeply about how we treat the least fortunate of our world. Therefore, rather than be consumed by our culture’s definition of living a life of success, be consumed by Scripture’s definition of living a life significant. A significant life is a life lived to bring gladness to others. A life of significance is life that is living out one’s calling to the glory of the caller. It is a life that majors in faithful things not necessarily big things. When we employ our talents, time, and treasure to promote the well-being of others, God is glorified, others are blessed, and we are found faithful - that my brothers and sister is a life of significance.

If your life in the past year has been characterized by success rather than significance, it is not too late. You can plan with God this month to begin a new year determined to live a life of significance. You can right now purpose in your heart to schedule time into your calendar to do something next year that advances the course of another person’s life. Let’s say be ready over the course of the next twelve months for God to interrupt your schedule because he wants you to be part of the significant thing he is doing in the world.

There are children from law income homes in your neighborhood who are falling behind in their reading, writing, math, and social skills; there are children in your neighborhood who need a mentor; there are single parent homes that will need a helping hand; there are older people whose yard needs some work; there are children around the world who need school fees. As you can see, there is quite a lot of ministry opportunities all around you and around the world. God is about to partner with you to do something significant this year. Are you ready to sacrifice a life of success for a significant life? If you do not know where to begin, talk to your pastor or share your passion with another Christian and you will be amazed what the Lord will do through you this New Year 2015.

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