A couple weeks ago something cool job-related happened to my husband. I was happy for him, for us– and yet it has made me really contemplate what I use to measure success. When I was working in the corporate world, success was assessed by quantitative and qualitative measures. More sales, higher profit margins, increased customer acquisition, happier customers or easier navigation. It’s easy for that mindset of more, more and more or good, better, best to bleed into my ideal of a successful life.
Before I go on, let me just say I do not think there is anything wrong with having more, buying things or making money. No, no no. I believe these can all be very good things.
These things, however, are not how I want to measure success in my life.
I want success to be measured by being transformed more like Christ.
I feel like a failure a lot. A few nights ago my husband and I were arguing, loudly. Very loudly. I think our landlord probably heard us (we share a wall with him), which is incredibly embarrassing and I could only think how grateful I was that Maya was sleeping. We ended the argument late, feeling stupid and immature yet falling asleep in each other’s arms. The next morning we felt like complete failures. How is it that we can do the church thing and read that big ole bible and say our prayers and teach our little girl the bible stories and still fail so miserably?!
I want to have a successful marriage.
Read: I want my marriage to be transformed more like Christ.
I want to have a successful job.
Read: I want to be transformed more like Christ where I work.
I want to have a successful life.
Read: I want to be transformed more like Christ every day.
Yet this is his will, no?
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:18
I will fail, yes. I will probably fail a little bit every day most likely. Yet ever increasing glory from the LORD is mine the scripture says! And if it is from the Lord, He can do it and He will. When I am tempted to give in to whatever it is, He will provide a way to succeed!
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13
I want to let go of my ideas that success looks like a gourmet meal on my “spring” table, a perfectly decorated and organized house, a little girl with a strategically placed pretty bow just on the right spot on her wavy hair saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, or a husband who brings home flowers and starbucks and lingerie. All of those things are nice, and I would love to have even one of them (not to mention all of them at once! That would be a dream!) but alone, a successful life (by my definition) they do not make.
How freeing it is to embrace life with this outlook. How overwhelming it is at the same time! May I seek Him always, Him first and let the rest fall into His lap with each choice I face today.
May His grace abound.