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Friday, February 26, 2010

How Do You Define Success?

While watching the Winter Olympics this week, I couldn't help but think about how we define success. The United States continues to lead in the medal count in the Olympic games, but I wonder if that's because we are so caught up in professional athletes we're willing to spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on training, coaching, and whatever else it takes to come out on top. Is winning a gold medal as an Olympian the ultimate of success?

God's view of success is likely very different from ours. I think He challenges each of us with different opportunities but gives the same instructions to everyone on how to achieve success. Joshua 1:8 states:
"Do not let this Book of the Law (the Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

In other words, we will gain success as we read and meditate on God's Word, learn His instructions for us, and then follow those instructions. God leads each of us down a different path with different service and ministry opportunities.

I consider stepparenting one of the ministries God put in my path. To achieve success as a stepparent, I need to follow God's instructions as I parent, striving for faithfulness, humility, love, service, and forgiveness toward my stepchildren. I also need patience and perseverance, for at times the journey is long and difficult.

Success as a stepparent doesn't mean our stepchildren will love and admire us or seek to have a relationship with us. It's a matter of the heart and simply means we are striving to do our part to follow God's standards as we parent. Even if we don't receive the appreciation we would like from our stepchildren, we can know we are viewed as a success in God's eyes.

I read a poem recently that offers light-hearted truth on achieving success:
The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, and caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success.



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