I have a good friend who has a problem. He owns his own business and it is growing too fast. His problem is success! Of course, that’s a pretty good problem to have. So what’s the secret of his success….well, he is making things people need and want, but as I stand by as a semi-objective observer, I have noticed some other reasons:
- He is smart and knows what he’s doing.
- He uses his knowledge and experience to make a good product.
- He is open to learning how to do new things if a customer wants something special.
- He is honest.
- He is cares about his employees and is fair with them.
- He is hard working.
- He has integrity.
- He has a great business partner (his wife).
Oh, and one more thing. He takes Jesus Christ seriously….seriously enough to let that relationship function not only in his church life, but in his work and family life as well. The qualities that he exhibits reminds me of qualities we all need to be intentional about when it comes to our relationship with Christ. Think about it…
Just as my friend is smart and knows his business, a believer should seek to grow in wisdom and be about his Father’s business.
Just as my friend uses his knowledge (his “smarts”) by applying it to what he’s making, so wisdom that is not used is useless. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. In Galatians 5: 6 Paul reminds us that: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Love, unconditional love, is an action in the best interest of another. We need to “act” on what we “know,” and what we “know” is that we are here to “love” God and others.
Just as my friend is open to learning new things, so should we be open to learning new things about Christ, ourselves, our purpose, His Spirit, and so many other things to make our life better. And when our life grows and becomes better, so does our impact on others. A disciple is a life-long learner.
Just as my friend is honest, so should we be to honor Christ. If people can’t trust us about life in general, how will they ever trust what we have to say about Christ?
Just as my friend cares about and is fair with those who work for him, so should we care and be fair in all our relationships. People are not to be used merely as means to an end. They are valuable to God, and should be valuable to us.
Just as my friend is hard working, so should we give ourselves to serve the Lord with joy and enthusiasm. Paul told the Roman Christians in his epistle to them, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (12:11) Also, just as an athlete needs to train to excel (versus merely “trying harder” to do the same old things), so should the believer train to experience the abundant life in Christ.
Just as my friend has integrity, so should we as believers. How many of us have heard a lost person talk about how horrible the church is because of all those hypocrites. It is true that no one is perfect, but we should strive for integrity so people can trust us. Hypocrisy destroys a person’s witness.
Finally, just as my friend does not conduct his business alone, so does the believer grow and live and serve the Lord in community with other believers. We need each other…it’s biblical! We are to depend on each other…that’s biblical, too! Remember that the first thing God labeled as “not good” at the beginning of creation was that man was alone. So God gave him a partner because: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
So how is your success these days? Are people looking at your life and thinking about your relationship with Christ? Are they looking at your life and seeing anything that they might want to imitate…anything that points them toward the One whose presence in your life is obvious? I hope so, because that IS success!