Pastor's Corner - January 14th, 2022
How do you define success?
When you look at the world around us, success is defined by a number of different metrics. Wealth, fame, status. It can be defined by your achievements, perhaps your career, societal impact, likes or retweets. Some look at what they've produced, whether it is a widget of some variety, or even their children and family as the metric for their success.
How do you measure success? What would it take for you to conclude that you are 'successful?'
The prevalence of social media and other digital formats provide people with the ability to compare their current station with the station of others and that has created a degree of envy within society that wasn't capable even a couple of decades ago. Society has always had the 'keeping up with the Jones' mentality', but now the Jones' aren't just the people who live in the house next to you, they can be anywhere. In real-time, people can see the lives of others played out in the palm of their hand. They can see photos that are purposefully touched and retouched with the optimal filters to create an illusion, they can see the perfectly structured life experiences of the 'influencers', and conclude that because their life doesn't match up in their eyes - that they are somehow missing out, or are not successful or content with their life.
How does God measure success? God looks on the heart.
When God chose David to be the next King of Israel after Saul was rejected, Samuel was sent to Jesse to invite him and his sons to the sacrifice and Samuel was told to anoint one of his sons to be King. After Jesse paraded his sons out before the prophet, Samuel was certain Eliab was the one. He must have been kingly, strong, probably tall, charismatic, a leader... God tells Samuel that it was not him. In fact, none of these men were the ones. Instead, He was looking for something different than men often consider. (1 Samuel 16)
God desired someone after His own heart.
The prior king, Saul, lost the kingdom as a result of his attempt to have his own version of success. Saul went to war with the Amalekites. After conquering them, he kept the livestock, subdued instead of executing Agag, the monument he set up to himself later, the adoration and exultation... all the while ignoring God's instructions. What did Samuel tell him in 1 Samuel 15:22? That the Lord delights in obedience. In faithfulness to His instructions, not in the measures of what the world or society deem as 'success'.
In Matthew 25, in the Parable of the Talents, and the parable of the Faithful servant in Luke 12, Jesus Christ shows the profitable servant as the one who when His master comes, finds so doing. The one who took what his Master gave him and grew what he was given, who was faithful in little.
To him, even more shall be given.
Success in God's eyes is defined by our faithfulness and obedience to Him.
Solomon concluded in Ecclesiastes 12:3-4:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgment;
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
May we all pursue the true definition of success, the approval and blessing of God our Father.
Happy Sabbath to you all,