I think a lot of times throughout our lives, because we often live very unsatisfied lives, always longing for more, we have this tendency to look in the mirror and see nothing but failure. Ya ever thought about that? What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? If you see yourself as a failure then maybe it’s time to look at how you would define success. Our culture has taught us to measure success in 3 primary ways…
- My Accomplishments: So, in other words, if I can climb that corporate ladder… if I can make Chief… if I can make First Class… if we can win the championship… if I can get first place. The more I can accomplish… the better I feel about myself… and the more successful I view myself.
- My Accumulations: That’s another biggie. So, if I have more than my neighbor, or my buddy, then I feel pretty good about myself. If I make more money than the next guy, then I’m successful. If I have a nicer car… if I have more money in the bank, then I’m successful in this life. From the perspective of the church, if we have more people coming to our church on a Sunday morning than any other church in town… then we view ourselves as being successful. And the church begins to view people as nothing more that accumulations.
- My Religious Activities: This might be a little more personal. I grew up in a family that was at church pretty much every time the doors were open. If you can relate then you’d probably agree with me that it’s super easy to begin to look at our personal calendars, and we begin to look at all the religious activities we participate in throughout the week… and as the result we begin to see ourselves as pretty successful Christians. The more I’m at church or participating in a church function, the better I will be viewed as a Christian.
The problem is that God has quite a different view of success! Check this out…
Matthew 22:34-40 — 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I believe, right there in Jesus’ response, that God has spelled out for us, very clearly, how He would define success. You see…
The standard of measuring success in our lives should be found in how we love God and how we love people.
Not in our accomplishments… not in our accumulations… and not in our religious activities. So, in other words, Jesus is saying… If you get these two things right in your life… loving God and loving people… then you won’t need to worry about any other commandment in the Bible because everything else will fall into place.
So, take another look in the mirror and ask yourself this question… how have I loved God and how have I loved people this week?
Be Blessed, Pastor Scott