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Spotlight on Success

Spotlight on Success

Deane Meatheringham

By Rev. Deane Meatheringham

Subject: Success

Pages: 17 pp, Booklet

Pub. Date: 1983

Book Code: 134

ISBN: 0 94985 163 9

PDF Download 102 kb

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The goal of succeeding consumes a large portion of our thinking. It could be argued forcibly that the western world is success orientated. The Australian winning of the America's Cup after being held by the United States for so many years, pulled out all the emotional vibes of the 'Aussie battler' in a contest which seemed like David's defeat of the giant Goliath.

Success for David meant his advancement under the reign of King Saul (I Sam. 18: 5). But Saul could not handle David's popular success and charged with the potent drink of fame, Saul attempted to rid himself of his contender. David's clear thinking agility was more powerful than Saul's fear of failure, enabling him to evade Saul's irrational lunges. 'And David had success in all his undertakings; for the Lord was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success he stood in awe of him' (I Sam. 18: 14f).

There are countless recipes written with the ingredients of success. These can be very attractive. The joy of success is one of the most powerful motivating forces that human beings know. The impetus for tackling new and often demanding adventures is often the anticipated joy of succeeding. We will pursue our goals joyfully while the hope of succeeding—even against great odds—is not lost.

Think of the elation that we have known when we have been successful in passing an examination, or conquering an obstacle. The politician is pressured to succeed in first being elected, then to stay in office, as well as to serve his electorate with some distinction. For a business venture it is the prospect of succeeding that prompts to pull off a big deal, in spite of the fear of failure. We want to succeed in marriage, in employment, in war, and in the affairs of religion.

The word success does not occur with much frequency in the Scriptures. But other words, as we shall see, convey the same thought. Words like prosper, welfare, fruitful, happiness, pleasure, treasures, possessions, profitable, victory etc.

In a largely success orientated society should Christians succeed? Is it Christian to succeed? If so, how successful should we be? How do we define success?