What is Success?
This is one of the fundamental questions that those who want to live well and justly must answer. No matter how hard we may try to avoid answering this question, this question will chase after us until we finally must turn and face it.
Having faced this question now for over 67 years I can honestly express where I am with my answer. I believe that success is being able to take love’s next step. It is loving the people I need to love each day in the right way, with the right measure, at the right time and with the right strategy. The key to this is being not doing.
In order to take love’s next step in every circumstance means I must become more like my heavenly Father. According to Jesus being like our heavenly Father is success and by being this kind of person I can even love my enemies which would be the greatest challenge.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
A Brazilian author named Carlos Queiroz wrote a wonderful book about the Sermon on the Mount entitled “Being is Enough.” What a fantastic title! He perfectly defined in three deeply powerful words what success is according to Jesus. It is being enough to love.
When our being is connected to and sufficiently aligned with Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, we find ourselves being what we were meant to be. And that is enough. That is success.
Success is not doing. Success is being enough to do. It is being able to love continuously like the Father, the Son and Spirit do because it is who they are.
Success is being one who loves continuously one day at a time. Jesus succeeded at loving us by being. What He did was what He is.
When I love because that is who I am, I can say with Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” Success is being able to take love’s next step because you are love’s next step.