The other day, a thought crossed my mind… “Brian, do you think you’ve lived a successful life?” It surely was an interesting question and the more I contemplated my answer, the more ‘confusing’ I realized the answer could be – depending upon my perspective.  In my mind, I reviewed my life up to this point:

  • Raised in a middle income family
  • Adopted by my ‘dad’ as a toddler… not a real healthy relationship
  • Never knew my biological father until age 42
  • Gave my life to Jesus and baptized at age 12… walked away at 18… came back at 31.
  • Struggle with rejection
  • U.S. Navy after high school
  • Married at age 23
  • Divorce after 15 years
  • Started up and sold 4 small businesses
  • Have a 16 year old son… relationship okay – wish is was better
  • Married now to an awesome woman
  • Had years of income where I made close to six figures and years I made less than $20K.
  • Helped to start up ministries that helped lots of people… some lasted and some ended after a short time.
  • Have had seasons of ‘healthy’ bank and 401K accounts and seasons of negative balances.
  • Have had people tell me I was awesome… have had people make me feel worthless.
  • The list goes on…

Looking back at my life, my personal ‘rollercoaster’ ride would seem to give the DOW Jones Industrial Average a run for its money!! Then I remember reading this:

I’m not defined by my failures or by my accomplishments.  I’m not despised by God, nor am I a hopeless hypocrite because of my weaknesses and shortcomings.  I am loved by God and I am a lover of God… therefore I am successful.

Don’t laugh at me, my enemies. Although I’ve fallen, I will get up. Although I sit in the dark, the LORD is my light. (Micah 7:8)

Because he has sent his love upon me… I will rescue him,’ says the Lord. (Psalm 91:14)

There is great peace in knowing that my true ‘success’ in life has nothing to do with … my so called ‘failures’ or my so called ‘successes’ – but rather on the knowing that God loves me and I love him. If there was more to God’s view of success, then the ‘poor’ and destitute family living in a grass hut in the middle of a dry, arid African desert would be considered a ‘failure’ and ‘second class’… but God doesn’t make ‘second class’ people. He simply creates children that He desires a deep, healthy loving relationship with.  That’s it.

My success does not come from pursing my own interests and desires, but rather, my success comes from knowing Jesus personally and seeking those things that He considers important.

It’s as simple as that.

Lord, you are the light in the midst of the dark. Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for accepting me just as I am, but I also thank you for loving me enough not to leave me that way! Forgive me for pursuing my own interests and focusing my efforts on my desires instead of what you consider important.  Forgive me for looking at success the way the world defines it… not the way You do. I want what will outlast my own lifetime… that which will last forever… your desire for my life. Amen!

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