God’s Standard For Success
Speaker: Donnie Smith
Christians are called to be set apart at work and in life. So our standard for work should not be influenced by the world, but rather by God. And we can experience freedom when our focus is to bring God glory with our work.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
“Success in life, is finding what God wants you to do in that season, and doing it in a way that brings Him glory.” Our standard for success can be influenced by what the world tells us we should measure ourselves against, but God doesn’t determine our value the way the world seems to. God values us by His love for us, and God’s love for us was set when Jesus went to the cross, and hasn’t been changed since. “Success in life, is finding what God wants you to do in that season, and doing it in a way that brings Him glory.” Our standard for success can be influenced by what the world tells us we should measure ourselves against, but God doesn’t determine our value the way the world seems to. God values us by His love for us, and God’s love for us was set when Jesus went to the cross, and hasn’t been changed since.
As Christians we’re called to be set apart. Because of this, the world won’t always agree with us and the way we define success. Paul cautions to not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but instead be transformed by God’s Word (Romans 12:2). So what does God’s word tell us about success?
Paul lays out a three-part formula of success for the church in Corinth that we can still use today (1 Corinthians 4: 1-4).
- Successful leaders are good stewards. Paul says that we are servants of Christ, entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. This means that our primary role is that of a steward, serving others and using our gifts and talents to reveal Jesus: his character, wisdom, grace, etc.
- Success requires faithfulness. Faithfulness means that we are committed to good stewardship, revealing Jesus in many ways, including doing work with excellence, leading (and following) with integrity or being generous with praise and credit. This will most likely mean that you are counter-cultural in your workplace.
- Remember that God is the only judge. Being counter-cultural will likely lead to a negative view by others, perhaps because you refuse to play politics, or you extend graciousness when most people would not. You will only find the strength to do this if you truly believe that God is the only ultimate judge and you’re focused on pleasing Him. Reputation doesn’t matter; only what God thinks is important.
We can experience freedom when we stop trying to live up to the standards of the world, and instead focus on bringing God glory in whatever assignment He has for us in this season.
What changes do you need to make to align your work more closely with what God wants you to do and to make your work a pleasing offering to God?
- If you could change one personal practice or push back on one company practice, what would it be?
- Why don’t you make this change? What risk do you feel?
- What is one small step you can take to pursue this change with a risk you can live with?
What one or two changes can you make to work in a way that shows you care more about what God thinks than anyone else?
Go through the 4-day YouVersion devotional Excellence at Work.