I’ve once heard a while ago that the enemy of faith is success. That was to say that when we get too caught up in our successes, we begin to become arrogant and think that all our success was because of us, and when we fall flat on our faces due to some failure, we fall into a pit of self doubt and anger, among other negative emotions that all resulted from a wrong perspective. Often we tend to crash into setbacks on our incline as if they were roadblocks, pile the brakes on and because of our attitude, start our roll downhill.
So recently I’ve had a very awesome success; for the first time since that fateful day when I was privileged to draw my first breath on this wonderful planet, I was able to enter a relationship with an amazing woman who I absolutely adore, and it has been quite the experience thus far. In the midst of all this, there was this one little splinter in my skin that prevented me from feeling absolutely comfortable in my own success. I felt as a dog who had finally caught the car he’d been chasing down the street. My saliva’s stained the rear bumper from my barking’s of love; those growls that I had longed to echo finally in audible range of the driver of that glossy red convertible. But what of it? What IS there left for a dog to do? My tail’s wagging helplessly, but my brain refuses to be content. No matter how much a bark, snarl or growl, all I see is more spit.
I’m a very task oriented individual. I feel as if there are things that must be done to start, maintain or finish just about anything. So don’t get me wrong, I love and absolutely enjoy the new experience that I’ve been blessed to enjoy, but I never had such an experience before. I thought that I needed to do something in order to prove my love and affection for said individual, and that what I was doing at the present, could never be enough. I had said long ago that once I enter a relationship that’s reduced to nothing but expressions of what I called “Lovey-doveyness” that I would be wasting my time. I believe that this pre-conceived notion that, if I don’t say so myself, was based upon virtually zero experience, effected a rule that stuck into my subconscious upon the inception of any actual attempt at practising this theory.
That’s another thing about success; we tend to place this plethora of profound rules and restrictions for which to base our success on. And that’s quite easy; if we’re under the bar, we fail, and if we rise above, we are successful. But what if our standards are wrong? What if the benchmark that we set is too high, or too low? How can we be successful? Could our self righteous indignation because of someone’s criticism of our “success” actually be without merit… because we ourselves are without merit? Or perhaps, just maybe, our scrape-through failing mentality actually demonstrate our brilliance and consistent fulfilling of the task we “fall short” of in the first place?
That’s why I love a thing Jesus liked to call grace.
Rules say we’re good or bad, or that other’s are either better or worse than us. It’s clear, defined and simple to follow. Grace? Now grace is a different story. Grace says you could be the worst in the world; I’ll still accept you, if you accept Me. Jesus offered us grace, because we can’t be good enough for him. Grace says above all else, that I love you. It doesn’t matter what you do, that will never change. Because I love you, I will go to the ends of the earth to see you spend eternity with me. It was never I’ll go to the ends of the earth to prove that I love you. In case you haven’t realized by now, Jesus is grace.
So what does this have to do with success? Everything.
The more we focus on how well we are, and how well we do, the more we open ourselves to things such as doubt, pride, depression, fear and a host of other horrors. When we simply just do our best because we should, or because we recognize how much certain things mean to us (especially Jesus 😉 ) we begin to witness a complete change. Success isn’t that we lived to achieve, but rather success is that we live. Success isn’t that we earned x amounts of anything, but that we were able to use what we earned to the benefit of others. Success isn’t that we were able to love ourselves, but that we were able to love God with all we are, and to love others as ourselves. The best thing is to recognize that we were saved by our Lord Jesus Christ not by works, but by grace. To me, that in itself is success in it’s purest form.
So that thorn in my side was nothing else but a measure of my success, which in itself was flawed. I shouldn’t even try to do things to prove I love her, but simply do things because I love her. And yes; I love her very much 🙂
Have a blessed day folks, and I hope you, like me, stop striving to succeed and simply be successful. I love you all! 🙂
(photocredit to http://www.tutor2u.net)