Tuesday, July 29, 2008
How God Measures Success
I have been reading a book called "Experiencing Leadershift" by Don Cousins. In chapter 3 called "The Success Heresy" he asks and answers the question "How God Measures Success? I thought I would share some of what ministered to me. Don asks four questions every believer should be asking themselves; Question 1: Are you being faithful? In the parable of the Talents in Matthew Chapter 25 each servant was given Talents from the Master and were held accountable to what they did with what they were given. So, the first dimension of faithfulness is knowing what has God given you. This could be in the form of natural talents, material assets, educational training, relationships, passions, and anything else. This list also includes spiritual gifts that He has given you. Once you understand what God has given you (natural and spiritual talents and gifts), they are then to be invested into The Kingdom. Question 2: Are you bearing Fruit? Jesus said, "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so be My disciples" (John 15:8). He also told us that God prunes every fruit-bearing branch "that is my bear more fruit" (John 15:2). God is into fruit... But often times (as Don Cousins points out) we see fruit as represented by numbers (how much and how many). In church we see nickels and noses (budgets and people). But if we understand fruit as coming from the Holy Spirit then we are drawn to Galatians 5:22-23 to find our answer to Question 2. So read this list and ask yourself the Question 2 again; "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. " Question 3: Are you fulfilled? Is your life, is your ministry, making you full? Full of what? Joy! Jesus continued in John 15:11 to tell His disciples "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. Is your life full of Joy? If not remember that is what God has and wants for you as you serve Him. Question 4: Are you making God famous? This is the bottom line, the ultimate measure of your life and ministry. Is God becoming famous through you? "f anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. " 1 Peter 4:11 While numbers in our culture is the benchmark of success I agree with Don Cousins that God has other more important ways to evaluate our lives. If you want more details on these four questions I suggest you get Don Cousins book "Experiencing Leadershift."