Are you being a successful Christian today?
That sounds like a weird question, I know. But I think it’s a valid one to ask. I know we all ask it at some point. It might be phrased differently: Is God pleased with me? Am I doing anything significant for the kingdom of God?
Well, that’s a question I can’t really answer for you. But let’s see if we can get close, by asking some more questions.
To measure we need a measuring stick
In order to know what success looks like you need to have something to compare your current progress with. It needs to be an unchanging gauge. And I think Jesus fits the bill.
What did success look like to Jesus?
- It wasn’t belonging to a rich and powerful family because He was born in a manger and both His earthly parent were common people.
- It wasn’t drawing big crowds because every time there was a significantly large crowd He would leave or retreat to pray.
- It wasn’t having an enormous amount of things or money because He didn’t even have a pillow to lay His head on.
- It wasn’t having everyone like Him because He constantly told people what they didn’t want to hear even if it made them angry.
So success really doesn’t look like any of the standards that most people use when measuring success.
So what was it?
What does success look like anyway?
I believe from what we see in the gospels, success for Jesus was being faithful to what God gave Him even when it cost Him His life. It was choosing a small group of men to live with, teach (and re-teach), love, be patience towards, protect, feed, and be vulnerable to.
Jesus shows us that success in the eyes of His father was for Him to the task given to Him for God’s glory. Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, your will be done not mine. Which implies that there will always be a tendency to want to do your will.
Success for the Christian is walking faithfully in what God has given you to do. No matter how big or small that task may seem.