LATJ: Winning at Work

7 10 2009

successWhat is success? The world says success is achieving a top leadership position, obtaining wealth, being on TV or receiving all of the accolades. The world heaps praise on these accomplishments. Many times people that have achieved this level of accomplishment have worked hard. They have dedicated their lives to their craft in an effort to be the best and to stand out. They have received their earthly rewards as a result. But these things fade. In his book “Think Like Jesus”, George Barna brings all of the material wealth and shiny things of the world into a very real perspective. He says, “The level of comfort we achieve may seem like a big deal as we drive through the neighborhood checking out other people’s homes and cars, but one second after we die that information is forever lost and more important matters assume their rightful place of priority.”

If we only think about temporal things then this kind of success becomes significant in our lives. When we think about eternal things then we need a better definition of success. One that I like is this. “Success is the realization of God’s plan and purpose for your life.” Regardless of God’s assignment for your life, we achieve success when we fulfill that purpose and give God the glory. Success should be the result of our work and not the object of our work. I think this is one area that trips up a lot of people. When we focus on the rewards and not the assignment then we are not focusing on doing the best that we can do at that point in time. Our achievement and success should be from knowing that we did God’s work in God’s way on God’s timeline and with God’s resources. If we do that then we dare not boast in our efforts, but instead give all of the credit to God.

One last thought on work and success. It is easy to become distracted by trying to receive the approval of our peers. We all want to fit in, to be accepted, to be praised and honored. These things can often sway our thoughts and decisions even when we are in the midst of doing God’s work. However, the verse from this chapter pierces deep into the truth. “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” John 12:42-43

Your approval comes from God. Keep doing God’s work.

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