Success vs. Significance
I heard a most convicting Word yesterday at church and I wanted to share it with the community because I know many people need to hear this message. So I am just going to write and narrate the notes that I recorded. These are the words of Pastor Christopher Brooks of Evangel Ministries in Detroit, Michigan. I pray that this post will bless you. The title of the message was Success vs. Significance: Which would you rather have?
The pastor first defined success as all the things we do to achieve comfort and convenience for ourselves. Whereas significance is defined as the impact you have on someone else’s life to reach their goals. The rest of the message was devoted to highlighting the difference between these two ideas and why God wants us to lead a life of significance.
Based on the definitions provided above, would you rather lead a life of success or significance? How have you been living up to this point?
Do you lead a life primarily focused on providing a life of comfort and convenience for you and your loved ones or do you lead a life of sacrifice and complete surrender to God? If your answer conforms to the former, then that is a sign you are leading a selfish life.
But as we run around with our degrees and make our way up the corporate ladder, how easy is it to get caught up in desiring success? Surely, one can be both successful and faithful to God right? Of course you can! And as my pastor pointed out, it is not that God doesn’t want us to have success; he just doesn’t want us to pursue it. He wants us to pursue faithfulness and righteousness, knowing that our steps are ordered by God.
But let’s keep it real shall we?
When you pray, do you primarily pray for your own needs or those of others?
When you ask God to move on your behalf, are your motives pure?
In James 4:3 it states, “When you ask you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures.” Does this verse convict you because it sure enough convicted me? I think the problem is that before we ask God what we want; we don’t ask God what we should want by praying, listening, and living according to the Word. My pastor says something that I think is simple yet powerful, “God break by heart for the things that break your heart.”
But how we can get to this type of kingdom lifestyle when we lead selfish lives?
My pastor explained the three results of leading a selfish life
Lack of Peace
Broken and lost friendships
Success becomes the God of your life
I have experienced all three of these phenomena and I found a way to deceive myself to believe that God simply wants me to exploit the talents and gifts He gave me. I even exploited the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14) and how God tried to tell us that he expects a return on his investment so that he can trust us with more things to bless even more people. But are we really interested in helping people when it is not convenient for us?
I doubt it. But this is the life God called us to lead. And we have been so disillusioned that many of us believe that if we focus too much of our energies on ourselves, no one will be there to tend to our needs. But look to the hills, says the Lord, from which cometh our help.
Moreover, leading a significant life is hard because we are not prepared to receive decreased recognition from the world. (marinate on that one) And lastly, we have been taught that the only way to lead a great life is to achieve your own goals. What do most of us say to each other, “You better take care of yourself because no one else will?” What happened to the trust that we were supposed to have in God? What happened to the notion that God will know us according to the love that we show one another? The more we give ourselves to God, the more He invests in us. Case closed.
But let me leave with you four questions that my Pastor left me with.
Can anyone say, “If it wasn’t for you, I’m not sure where I would be right now.”
Whose life is God calling you to have a significant impact on?
What are you willing to give up to do this?
And lastly, are you willing to lead a life of significance over success?
And I know that many of you are thinking, that sounds good, but where is this talked about in the Word? Scriptures included in the message include Matthew 10:39, James 4:1-3, Hebrews 11:24-25, and I Corinthians 12:7.
Stay up fam,