Skip to main content

Value vs. Success

What standard do you live by?  I have a little plaque in my office which simply reads: "Every time you walk by the violation of a standard, you set a new standard."  It was given to me some years ago, but it still have great meaning to me, serving as a reminder to not simply "walk on by" those things which really matter in life.   Einstein once said, "Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them."  I believe this is true - we press beyond what we are willing to see as a limit which must be broken in order to move on in life.  There are limits which are kind of the "standards" by which we live - sets of beliefs and rules we adhere to without compromise.  Then there are limits we place on ourselves - beliefs which may not be founded in reality, but are self or other imposed.  I think we need to be careful what "standard" we use as a measuring rod in our lives, for the standard may be too low, or even too high.

For we would never dare to compare ourselves with people who have based their worth on self-commendation. They check themselves against and compare themselves with one another. It just shows that they don’t have any sense! (2 Corinthians 10:12 VOICE)

I will never be an Olympian, so to aspire to be one is kind of silly.  If I tried running like an Olympian at this stage in my life, with my artificial knee and aging body, I'd just look silly. In fact, getting to a good, rapid, heart-pumping pace while walking is enough exercise for this body!  If the standard I measured my cardiovascular workout against was that of the Olympic 5,000 meter distance runner, I'd always be critical of my efforts.  Why?  That is not realistic for me!  The standards we use to evaluate our progress in life need to first of all be realistic.  To bite off more than we can chew in any area of our lives is to set ourselves up to be defeated.

One thing is for sure in this life - there will always be plenty of people we could compare ourselves to - good, bad, pretty, not so pretty, heavy, or slim.  The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.  The "standard" we choose will either serve to defeat us because we don't see ourselves as "measuring up" or get us so self-inflated we see ourselves as "better than" the one we are using as a comparison.  According to our passage, people who compare themselves to other people have "no sense"!  Therefore, using any standard other than Christ as our measurement of "success", "beauty", "spiritual maturity", etc., is just going to point out we have a wrong standard by which we are judging ourselves and others.

Einstein was also quoted as saying, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."  Think on that one a little - a man or woman of value, not of "success".  Why?  "Success" is subjective.  It is based on what is achieved or accomplished.  It isn't a stable thing in our lives.  It can be "undone" by the next "successful" thing someone ELSE does!  Jesus never pointed his followers toward "success" in this life, but rather development of "trust", "hope", and "love".  Success vs. value - one is subjective and movable; the other is objective and immovable. Value is not determined by what we achieve, but rather by what we have been declared to be - a child of the living God himself.  Value is what really gives us worth - worth is more than success - it is a deep-seated assurance we are living by the right standard!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,