Background image © Depositphotos.com/ truelightIrish legend has it that you’ll find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not everyone chases rainbows, but we all chase something. How would you define success? A worldview is like a pair of glasses. It helps us see the world more clearly and make decisions easier. Whether they know it or not, everyone has a worldview—kids, adults, and teenagers. Part of your worldview is how you view success.
Image © Depositphotos.com/ fcarucciWill you be successful when you get enough money? Some people think they will feel successful and safe if they get money. Does that really work? How much is "enough" money? Money itself is not bad. It is a tool used to buy things, much like you use a pencil (or something like it) to write. You cannot write without these tools, but they don't mean anything by themselves. Unless you pick it up and right with it, it isn't very useful. It also gets used up. Sharpen it enough and it will be gone. Then what? Money is much the same. When you use it to buy food, clothes, and other things, the amount you have gets smaller and smaller. Before you know it, all your money could be gone. Some people are good at making money, but even they are not guaranteed to be able to keep it. You never know when something unexpected might happen and you loose all or most of your money (like what happened in Luke 12:13-21). We don't need money to feel taken care of and safe. God has promised to give us everything we need.
So don’t always think about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about it. That’s what all those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. But your Father knows that you need these things. What you should be thinking about is God’s kingdom. Then he will give you all these other things you need. Luke 12:29-31 (ERV)God also warns about making the goal of your life earning more money. When money is all you think about, it takes the place of God in your life. Everything you do is to get more money, not to serve God. This may seem like a good ideas, but it's not.
You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one and love the other, or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time. Matthew 6:24 (ERV)
Popularity or Fame
Image © Depositphotos.com/ yanlevDo you want to be famous? Liked by a lot of people? Maybe become a prize-winner or a star? Would you be successful if you became the head of the company? What all of those things have in common is the desire for fame. These people want others to know how great they are. Be honest now. Do you fit into that category? This one is tricky because most everyone struggles with what is called pride. Pride is thinking that you are better than other people in one way or another. This is not good. Do you know why? Because God made each person with special gifts and talents. No one person is better than the other. We are different so we can work together and help one another. Spiritual gifts are an example of this.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve, but we serve the same Lord. And there are different ways that God works in people, but it is the same God who works in all of us to do everything. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (ERV)Fame is fleeting. That means that those who are famous now won't be famous for long (Psalm 49:18-19). Here's an example. Have you ever heard of Errol Flynn, Jerry Mathers, or Mary Pickford? They were superstars when your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were kids. (Click on their names to learn more about them.) But did you know them? Their fame didn't last and neither will the people who are famous today. The important thing is not what people think of you, but how you reach others with the love of Christ. God designed the church to be a place where Christians could do God's work together. When they worked together, following God and trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to do what they needed to do, great things happened (like Acts 2:42-47).
In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. He is your real Master. Remember that anyone who does wrong will be punished for that wrong. And the Lord treats everyone the same. Colossians 3:23-25 (ERV)
Self-check: What's Your Worldview?Really think about it for a minute. How would you define success? If you did or achieved this one thing, you'd consider yourself to have "made it." What is that one thing? Here's the second question: Would you rather do that or serve God? That's kind of a trick question. It is not necessarily bad to be popular, have money, or many other things. What is bad is when that is all you think about. Are you doing it for you or are you serving God and those things just happen to come along with it? What is in your heart? That is the important thing.
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (MSG)Take some time today to pray and ask God to show you what you are really chasing, what is really the most important thing in your life. Ask Him to help you keep your focus on Jesus and serving God.
"We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete." Hebrews 12:1-2 (ERV)