How do you know if you have been successful at what you set out to achieve? By the money in your pocket? Hits you receive on your website or likes on social media? Citations if you are an author? TV interviews? Books sold?
I came across this today on Patheos, spoken by a writer to a writer:
“You do not write the best you can for the sake of the art but for the sake of returning your talent increased to the invisible God to use or not use as he sees fit” (The Habit of Being, 419). She also wrote, “When you write a novel, if you have been honest about it and if your conscience is clear, then it seems to me that you have to leave the rest in God’s hands. When the book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry about this is to take over God’s business” (The Habit of Being, 143).
What’s true of writing is true of any other good endeavour. Fill in the blank… “When you are a parent and your child goes to college, if you have been honest about it and your conscience is clear, then it seems to me that you have to leave the rest in God’s hands…” “When you teach a class…” “When you design a building…” “When you clean a kitchen…” “When you…”I want to measure success by the honesty of my labour and the clearness of my conscience and the desire to trust that the labour has been handed over as an offering. What happens next–whether it be considered success or failure–that’s up to God.
” Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving…” Colossians 3:23
Whatever your station in life, it is the Lord you are serving. It is him who determines the success of the results.