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Success or Achievment?

February 4th, 2009

You were loyal with small things. I will let you care for greater things.” Matthew 25:23 NCV

“People who enjoy success apart from achievement won’t handle it well, or enjoy it very long.”

My¬†thoughts today ask, “success or achievement?”

Too many think they should start at the top. You might hope for the big and important opportunities first. But that is not how life really works. You may look at the ease with which someone does their job so successfully, and assume that you could do it as easily.

But you do not know all that prepared another to succeed. They worked long to develop their skills. They learned by their struggles and mistakes. Their life experiences prepared them. They proved themselves in small responsibilities along the way. And when their opportunity came, they were ready for it. “Overnight successes” often take a long time coming.

More often than not, people who enjoy promotion and success too quickly usually don’t handle it well, or enjoy it very long. They haven’t been carefully schooled and prepared. They seldom had time to learn how to handle promotion well. Mistakenly, some begin to think it is all about what they have done, instead of what really happens – people along your way who see your potential and appreciate your effort, and who generously give you opportunities to achieve and applaud your success.

As I look back across my life, anything that I have been allowed to do or become has been the direct result of the grace of God shown to me, and the graciousness of a lot of people toward me. I have given the effort, but others have given a lot of help.

And, don’t confuse success and achievement. Everyone wants success or at least the benefits, privileges, and rewards they see success bring. But real success only follows achievement, and that takes time and requires hard work. The world and its culture prize the product more than the process. Success requires some measure of sacrifice but comes mainly when you are ready for it.

Be forewarned. Success can result in ultimate failure. It can subtly corrupt your values and cloud your judgment, making you proud when you should be humble, or greedy when you should be generous. Hold it gratefully, and lightly. Use it wisely while it’s yours.

Achievement and success begin right now, using what you have. Jesus taught, If you have not been faithful in that which is least, you will not be faithful in that which is much. If you have not been faithful with riches, who will give you true wealth? If you have not been faithful in what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:11-12.

Be faithful in the things presently at hand and greater opportunity will be given you and greater success come your way.

My prayer for you today is: work for success, but desire God’s “well done” above all.

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