Definition of Success
Recently a friend asked me, “Peter, what’s your definition of success? How many books do you have to sell? How much do you have to achieve?” I didn’t have an answer.
A week later, an acquisitions editor who had loved my book proposal and wanted to publish it wrote back and said the publications board thought my previous book sales weren’t high enough to go forward with another one. It was like a sucker punch to my gut. I learned that the whole publishing industry is pulling back. The recession and digitalization are leaving many publishers scared and only working with those who can guarantee big sales. I’m left on the outside.I remembered a pastor who said God told him to “die to the dream of being a success and live to the dream of being a blessing.” How would I do that in my writing, my pastoring, my teaching?
A month later I went to a church that had a long worship time and lots of prayer. God spoke to me there, as clearly as I’ve ever sensed it: “Do not quote that other pastor any more. I am now saying this directly to you: ‘I want you to die to the dream of being a success and live to the dream of being a blessing.’” Tears streaming, I said yes.
I don’t know how it will work out. I will probably do many of the same things as before. But I’m freer now. I don’t have to achieve. Rather I must bless. And being a blessing will probably be a path to “success” (whatever that is). But even if it’s not, I won’t fret. Being a blessing is its own success.
Could this be true in your life too?
PRAYER: Lord, teach me to be a blessing, whether I appear successful or not. Teach me in my life—especially in my struggles and failures—how being a blessing is its own success.
“Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful,” Joshua 1:7–8 NET.
Today’s devotion is by Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power. A rising new voice on connecting with God, he is a pastor, Bible college teacher, and conference speaker. Visit him at www.PeterLundell.com for his inspirational “Connections” and free downloads of articles, parables, short stories, and book chapters.