Success vs Failure

Why are so hard on ourselves?

Of course, there is always room for improvement. But something doesn’t have to actually be “perfect” to be a success. For me it takes work not to pick apart how something could have been better and just be thankful that it was good, even if it wasn’t perfect.

Why is it that our failures (real or perceived) are like flashing neon signs – always trying to grab our attention?

Maybe it is a good way to keep me humble. Typically things aren’t all good or all bad, I can look at things on a 1-10 scale. And even if it was a miserable experience, there is usually something I learned and, in that case, there was something redeemable about it.

What about when we do “everything right” and things still go awfully wrong. Are we really in as much control as we think? Everything hinges on something and not everything is in our power. We don’t have control over others. We only have control over our actions and responses. And even when we do things perfectly, there is no guarantee the outcome will be what we were hoping for.

Are there some days just getting out of bed and facing the day is an achievement?

I think so.

Success and failure are in the eyes of the beholder. What the world pushes us towards and what God is nurturing in our hearts are likely very different things. Who do you listen to when you are evaluating success?

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. [Psalm 73:26, NIV]

May you view your activity with through God’s eyes!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: FLUCTUATIONS

Yours, Mine, and Theirs

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Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I worry. And sometimes I get anxious!

God’s Word tells us “Do not be anxious…” but there are times I am.

I know the truth of God’s Word but we are sinners living in a sinful world. Your sins, my sins, and their sins all can impact us and cause a lifetime of pain and consequences. Life isn’t all about rainbows and fluffy kittens. Some people are living in very hard situations. There are times I look at what some people are going through day after day and I have no idea how they survive except by putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on and clinging to their faith.

But there is more to this life!

Some people are bogged down in difficult life circumstances and others are caught up in the race of acquiring more and achieving more. Sometimes it is easier to hold onto the depths of God’s truths when we struggle because climbing the ladder of success and notoriety takes a lot of time and effort and often some very important stuff can easily be lost in the ascent. Whatever the circumstance,  it is easy to get distracted and disoriented when ugly things happen in life if not grounded in God’s Word and His gifts of grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

God’s words go against what we see in our world today. His promises and provisions don’t follow the ways of the world and I am so very glad! Posted below is the first verse of a sweet hymn. I didn’t grow up hearing this one but it is one I love to hear children sing! It is both simple and complex. As I look back over my life, I can see God’s gentle guidance and provision and I know that He will provide for me as the future unfolds before me!

I am Jesus’ little lamb,

Ever glad at heart I am;

For my shepherd gently guides me,

Knows my needs and well provides me,

Loves me every day the same,

Even calls me by my name!

   by Henritta L. von Hayn, 1724-1782

 

On the Road,

Liz

PrayerPoints ~Wednesday, March 16th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 49

“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.” Psalm 49:16-17

People often pursue success relentlessly.  There are many different perspectives on what is considered successful and many of them have to do with money, position, and power. It is very easy to get caught up in the world’s definition of success because we are bombarded with so many messages about what the world considers successful.

Think for a bit about what you consider successful. Then take a few minutes to evaluate the path your are on and how it aligns with what you value. Then take some time to be in prayer and God’s Word to see if there are some adjustments you need to make. For me, it is easy to be swayed to believe what the world says about success because there are so many images and messages that are out there, trying to influence me.

Riches are not the problem….but riches at the expense of others definitely can be.

It is easy to look at others and think about how I would live my life differently if I was in their shoes. It is much more difficult to consider where I am and what I have and how to align my path to the things God considers of value.

I will be praying for God’s wisdom and discernment as I think about how I define success.