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What Does It Mean To Be Successful?

Ken is one of those guys I consider a friend.  We don’t really get together that often, but when we do its like the last conversation never ended.  We were talking at our Super Bowl party, and our conversation struck a familiar refrain.

We share a common restlessness.  We are not altogether patient people—I’ll be honest.  So accordingly, we have a deep desire for change—now!  Ken told me about his most recent freelance sermon, and how he felt like he was pushing his church maybe faster than they wanted to go.

But he articulated his passion, his desire to impact his world—near and far—with good news, hope, and joy.  “But I don’t know exactly how,” he described.  What does it look like, this thing we call success?  What is a meaningful life?

Most of us will never get the stage.  Most of us will never share a newspaper headline, and frankly, wouldn’t want it.  We’ll labor away in the relative obscurity of the day to day.

And right there is the magic—the day to day.  Day after day of faithfulness.  Day after day of giving your life away.  Day after day of coming into divine encounters—if only I would see.

I feel like the father of the child with the evil spirit crying out to the Master, “Lord, help my unbelief!”  The problem for me is so often I think that I am seeing when I am not really.  I see me, when I need to see others through the lens of grace and love.

I think today success is seeing the people I encounter through that lens of grace, and asking the question, “What can I give today?”  “How may I minister?”  It may be co-workers, the lady at the register, the parking attendant, or my wife and children upon my return home.  I think today I’ll call that success.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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