“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill
1. Have Faith in God
This one seems simple but I may lose some of you right off the bat because it’s not just about having faith in a higher power or having faith in yourself or having faith in Brahma the 3 trillion old Hindu god that dies and is reborn (btw, he still died) (btw again, I know that was a completely random reference) and it’s not just about being a spiritual person. It all starts with having faith in the one true living God. He is the Author of hope. Having faith in God through a relationship with Jesus Christ is the first step to real success.
Having a relationship with Christ is the ONLY thing that got me anywhere in life. It is the ONLY thing that will continue to propel me forward. My wife, my kids, my church, and other relationships are amazing but if I do not have my life focused on Christ then everything else is not in focus at all. Having an intimate relationship with Jesus is the key to any lasting success. If you aren’t there yet or want to know more about this relationship, please contact me.
2. Develop Your Character AND Your Gift
This one is such a pain. No pain, no gain. We can see from preachers, pastors, songwriters, CEO’s, really anybody from any walk of life that is gifted can increase their knowledge and grow in their gift. But character development is so much harder. Because you usually don’t ever see the payoff, sometimes you lose when you do things right. But you grow in character and you grow in favor with God. Your gift can take you amazing places but your character can keep you there.
3. Be Faithful in Another Man’s
Be faithful in another man’s… what? Ministry, company, whatever. There will always be someone above you. We don’t like to hear that but that is the truth. There is always someone who will carry a level of authority not over you but for you. That’s right… for you. Authority shouldn’t be wielded as a weapon but carried as a shield. One more thing… you won’t have authority if you don’t operate under authority.
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
This is such a cool passage because it shows what happens when you respect the authority God has placed in your life even if you don’t look the same or act the same or come from the same culture. When you show respect to authority, it can unlock the miracles God has waiting for you.
4. Don’t Get Offended
We have so many opportunities to get offended. You get cut-off in traffic, you lose out on some money, someone rejects you, or even worse someone straight-up stabs you in the back! What then? How do you respond? Or do you react? There is a difference. It may take a while but choosing to respond instead of reacting is the wise choice.
My pastor says, “You’ll never meet an unscarred champion.” If you want lasting success in life, I guarantee you… you will get hurt. I know, I know, that’s not the inspiration you were looking for, but it is the truth. How we respond is how we will get rewarded. After dealing with rejection or offense pretty often in my life, I have come to the realization that I refuse to allow someone else on this planet control my joy or my attitude. That is up to me. No matter what happens to me, I am the only one who can control what happens in me.
I am definitely not perfect in this area yet and I probably won’t be until I get to Heaven but I want to encourage you to choose to respond the way Jesus would. For more info on this subject check out John Bevere‘s, ‘Bait of Satan’ and ‘How to Respond When You Feel Mistreated’ books. The are are great resources that will help you in your journey.
As the last entry of 2008, I hope you will try and put into practice these seemingly simple 4 Keys. I believe they will help you see more lasting success than you can imagine. Have a Great New Year!