07: Owning Our Successes

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetNow that we’ve made it over the hurdle of hurt, let’s talk about the joys of success. Success, to me, has looked like many different things throughout my life. In school, it looked like getting good grades, and being involved in many extracurricular activities. In dance class, it looked like getting to play the lead role. In soccer, it looked like defending the goal against swift forwards. Relationally, success took on the form of being widely accepted, and winning the affections of boys. Now that I’m older, success looks a lot like getting a masters degree, having a rewarding job, being great in bed, everyone clamoring for my chocolate chip cookie recipe, and keeping the tidiest and most sweetly decorated house in the tri-county area. We’re told, practically from the moment we exit the womb, that we must excel in this mashup of Cosmopolitan meets Good Housekeeping, and if we don’t make enough money, have enough energy or libido, have a big enough house, then we’re complete and utter failures at life.

Plus, on top of all that gloss and shimmer, we’re supposed to feign this crazy thing called humility, which is totally confusing in and of its own right. We’re told that we have to be great at all that stuff, all the while pretending its no big thing.

Then, there’s God, and His definition of success.1553091_10152664350665821_4816887948806739219_o

Christ outlines it in Matthew 25, in what is called The Parable of the Talents. A rich man entrusts his wealth to his servants before he embarks on a journey. He staggers the amount based on how much he believes he can trust them. Upon his return, the man finds that the servant to whom he gave the most money decided to invest it, and doubled his money in return. The same was true of the second man, who had been given slightly less. These two men were praised. But the man who was given the least amount of money hid it away, fearing that he might somehow lose it. This man was scorned for his laziness.

God’s definition of success isn’t hidden in our abilities or accomplishments, but rather, what we do with them.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with being successful, and no shame in being talented. Sometimes people confuse humility with the idea that we should hide our gifts, or pretend that they are of lesser value than those of someone else. But the true meaning of humility is believing that the gifts you have are not of yourself, but rather, of a divine Creator.



The conversation starts here: 

What is your personal definition of success? Where do you believe it came from?

What is your personal definition for humility? Where do you believe it came from?

{Leave your questions + answers + thoughts in the comments below.}




Some Fine Print:

This is the seventh of thirty-one installments to be posted throughout the month of October. To view the entire table of contents as it is made available, click here. You can receive the entire series in your inbox for free by subscribing via email (no spam, just my heart by way of weblog). Please feel free to pass these words along to a friend. Sharing is caring!