||SUCCESSFUL: 4x200m gold medallists and world record holders Kylie Palmer, Bronte Barratt, Linda Mackenzie and Stephanie Rice
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Success comes in all fields of human endeavour. Wouldn’t you mind a
dollar for every time you read the word in the daily press? Successful
athlete, successful operation, successful concert tour, box-office success,
successful business venture... and so on. If you’re at all like me, you
sometimes feel anything but a success in comparison with other people and
Are we thinking rightly?
If you ask
someone in the street what they think success is, the chances are that you
would hear statements like ‘getting rich’, ‘making the big
time’, ‘being in demand’, ‘winning’,
‘enjoying a lucky streak’, or any number of answers like this.
It seems taken for granted that a successful person will have plenty of money,
fame and happiness always at their fingertips. It seems almost a law that if
you haven’t experienced all this, then you have failed. Therefore you
must keep trying.
Using a better measure
I consider my
mother a success. She raised a decent family and set them in the right
direction. She worked hard and carried all her responsibilities with
dedication and good spirits. She never made enemies and showed helpfulness to
everyone. She kept house until old age.
But she never had her picture in the paper, never had much money, never made a
mark in the corporate world or feasted on pleasure. If the measure you use
says that character and virtue make for success, then she was a success. Of
course, there are millions like her.
We must examine our goals.
What are we
wanting to achieve? And why? For whom? Remember, thieves, murderers and
warlords can be successful.
Jewish leaders and the Roman governor, Pilate were respected and feared.
Before them stood a man, who, it appeared, was in disaster mode. Soon, he was
ridiculed, spat upon and beaten. Crowds followed him as he carried his cross
outside the city. As he hung on it, more insults were hurled. This was deep
suffering, unfathomed by any other man. His death looked pathetic, shameful,
What was achieved? He died on behalf of others, paying the price of sin,
giving away his life to bring life to us. Having disarmed the powers and
authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the
cross. His success was displayed by his resurrection from death. As the
Saviour of the world, he has lifted countless people out of their failure and
into life that never ends.
Without doubt, Jesus Christ is the most successful achiever in history, and
you can get to know Him by reading any of first four books of the New