Faith & Life: How Should a Christian Define Success in Life?

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How Should a Christian Define Success in Life?

Discovering God’s Will for Your Life is a Beautiful Thing

by J.M. Troppello

How do you define success in your life? Do you think that a Christian should define success differently than a nonbeliever? I’ve been thinking about success the last few months. Most people who have any sense of ambition, desire to have success in life. I’ve been writing for over 20 years. I’m not a best-selling success, but I’m doing okay. I’m building my career one step at a time.

“To find his place and fill it is success for a man.” – Phillip Brooks

I think it’s good to seek success in life. The Bible urges believers to work hard and not be lazy. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul shares that if you don’t work, you won’t eat. In Colossians 3:23, Paul urges believers to do all that they do heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. You can read in Proverbs 10:4 that Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

I also believe that a believer should be focused on God’s Kingdom. That means that you need to live like Jesus is Lord of your life because He really is Lord of your life. Now, this has been an area of struggle in my life. I don’t always take the direction that God has told me to go. I’ve paid the price and have suffered the consequences for those actions. In recent years, I’ve been working on being more disciplined to follow God’s direction in my life.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:1-9, NKJV)

Joshua’s story takes place after the events recorded in Deuteronomy. Moses died. God commissioned Joshua, who had been Moses’s ‘assistant.’ “The Hebrew word for assistant usually refers to worship, but it can also mean service to an individual, as it does here (see I Kings 19:21 for Elijah’s assistant). Joshua is not identified as the ‘servant of the Lord’ here, probably to show that he had not yet ‘filled Moses’s shoes.’ He needed to grow into the job. Yet Deut 34:9 hints that Joshua would do just that: ‘Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.’” [Source: TNSB]

I have read this passage from Joshua many times. It’s been an encouragement to me. God told Joshua that if he meditated on the Book of the Law, day and night, and obeyed all that was in it, then God would make his way prosperous and he’d have good success.

I am still on this journey to find out what success means to the Christian. But, I am seeing more and more evidence in my life that when I follow God’s guidance, things turn out much better than when I disobey and go my own way. I am focusing my heart on being more Kingdom-centric and listening to God’s leading in my life.

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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