Sunday, 10 November 2013

Is success dependent on how much we have?

One of the ways our society determines how successful a person is, is by how much
they have. So if you have more money, you are deemed more successful than the person with less. 

If you have more church members, you are also more successful than the pastor with fewer members. The same thing is true when you are on social media: the number of followers, ‘Likes’, visitors and comments you get also determines whether you are popular (or successful in that regard) or not.

One of my idle pastimes on this blog is checking the number of views it gets. I know it sounds daft, but I do. However I don’t check it to feel happy or encouraged or anything like that. I am happy whether I get one visitor or more or even less. But there was a time I wasn’t always like this. I remember when I started writing articles for an online magazine, and how discouraged and ‘unsuccessful’ I would feel if my article got only few comments while articles on fashion or a celebrity received hundreds.

One day my whole perspective changed. And somehow I felt God saying to me “everyone who views this article or even comments on it is important”. As I thought about it, I realized that God does not work by numbers. Not at all, every person is important to Him. In the Bible, Jesus talked about the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin. In both cases, the shepherd and the woman, left the remaining herd and coins respectively, in search of the one that was missing.

I often wonder why they did it; I don’t think I would have bothered myself. But before God, that one sheep was too important to be left alone, so also was the lost coin. Indeed Jesus said that there is a celebration in Heaven when one sinner repents. Not ten sinners, or a hundred, but one.

So these days I am happy regardless of the number of visitors or comments I receive. I thank God for each one because I believe that if it was just that person who needed encouragement, then to God be the glory the person got it. God truly values each person.

As Christians we are encouraged to be faithful in the little we have. God doesn’t want us to wait until we have more before we can become faithful and grateful. If we find it difficult to be faithful in little, we won’t be faithful in more.

So I encourage you, be excellent in all you do. If you are hoping for a better job, be a good and excellent employee in your current job, if you are unemployed, then use your time wisely to help others. If you are the pastor of a small church, don't treat your members carelessly. If you are a business person, don’t treat ‘poor’ customers shabbily while hoping to get rich ones instead. If you are waiting for a child or spouse, be nice to others who have what you desire, don’t be jealous.

Remember success is not measured by numbers only, but by how faithful we are with whatever has been given to us.

May God help us to become better stewards of all He has given us, amen.

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