The Feeling of Success
Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:24-28
Key Verse: Matthew 16:26
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
If someone feels successful, they are! Success is not something objective that is defined in the constitution of the United States! Success is very subjective – defined by the individual who is evaluating it. It feels good to feel successful. Our self-esteem is strengthened by this belief in our own success. Self-esteem is a collection of “beliefs” we hold true about ourselves. So, if we define success by our own set of beliefs, we can “feel” successful!
Picture two scenarios and you judge who is successful. The first person is a CEO of a large company. Over the years, he has been divorced, alienated from his children and he goes home every day to an empty mansion. The second person is an office worker, stuck in a cubicle all day, shuffling papers for a large company. Over the years, he has developed and maintained a loving relationship with his wife and has kids that adore him. He goes home every day to a modest home and enjoys a meal with his family that includes lots of laughter from everyone around the table! Surely you don’t have any trouble determining which man is successful in life! Surely you don’t envy the CEO with all his possessions!
Once again, today, I must ask the question: How do you define success? Our scripture poses two all-important questions for each person to answer. First, what good is gaining the whole world if, in the end, I lose my soul? The second question is just as probing: What can a man give in exchange for his soul? Since it is human to “want” to feel successful…and it is normal to try to achieve success, we must examine our definition of success very carefully. Our “definition” will become our map. Where is your map leading you?
Father, I want to exchange my ‘map’ for your ‘map.’ Please grant me your wisdom today to define my success by your standards. In Jesus’ Name, amen.