Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: The Measure of Success

I came across a quote the other day by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends.
To appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
 
And while I like it, and would like to achieve this, it's truly not the measure of success from a spiritual viewpoint. How does God measure success in our lives?  Is it by the amount of good deeds we do?  Is it by how many of His laws and commandments we keep?  Or how many times we go to church?
 
No, God measures our success with a different ruler.
 
Micah 6:8 (NIV) ~
 
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God
 
1. Act Justly - make sure that you upright and honest in all your dealings. God is a God of justice. He expects His people to be the same. Treat those around you with dignity and respect. Cheating, lying, dishonest gain, disrespect of others is not something that should be the characteristic of God's people.

2. Love Mercy - are you a merciful person? Do you exact revenge on those who hurt you? Do you run them down with your words? Are you quick to be offended and angry with others? Are you vindictive? We are to be people who forgive. We have been forgiven so much from the Lord. Let's make sure that we are people who forgive others.

3. Walk Humbly With God - So many people I know say they love the Lord and have a relationship with Him, yet they never read His word. They never seek Him out before they make a decision. They never worship with His people. They talk a good game, but the Lord requires more than speech.  He wants not just your words; but your actions. 

As you look at your life, and using the Lord's measuring stick, let's measure our success by what the Lord requires.  If we are doing this, then all those other things will then fall into place.