What is the true measure of success?
Have you ever been bombarded by a concept? An idea? A lesson?
Have you ever come to an intersection in your life and felt that you are being taught the same lesson from 57 different directions, formats, and people?
In Christian jargon, we sometimes call it "God trying to get our attention about something."
That's where I've been in my life the last couple of weeks.
I've been reminded of an important truth in life at almost every corner I turn. And that truth is this:
Stewardship, how we use what we are gifted, is the true measure of success.
So often in life we can be tempted to define success by comparing ourselves to others. When we do this, success is never attained because we will ALWAYS find someone new to compare ourselves to, no matter how far we progress as an individual.
But what we can easily forget is that we all start from different points, with different skills, abilities, weaknesses, and stories. None of us are identically the same...
..which means success is unique to each and every one of us.
So for us to truly be successful means to make the most of what we have been given.
That is stewardship.
Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as: "the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care."
What have you been entrusted with?
And before you say that you do not have anything to steward, let me remind you of what the Bible tells us:
God has prepared each and every one of us for good works. He has a plan for each of us and He has equipped us to carry out that purpose.
The extent to which we fulfill that purpose and steward what He has entrusted us with is the level to which we have "succeeded" in life.
So what has God created you with? What has He equipped you with over the years?
Is it resources? (finances, belongings, income, etc.)
Is it influence? (leadership, friendships, a network, an online following, etc.)
Is it knowledge? (of the Bible, mechanics, science, math, or construction)
Is it compassion? (caring for others and God's creation)
Whether it be something that can be measured or given a degree for or developed...
God has entrusted you with something.
And your responsibility is to figure out what those few things are in your life. The most important things to God and the things you get most on fire and passionate about.
Once you have determined those few things, chase them with focused and disciplined passion.
Because stewardship is not sitting on resources, it is multiplying what you have been entrusted with.
The degree to which you are a good steward with your life, your gifts, and your story - that is the degree to which you have succeeded in life.
And time is of the essence (it always is of the essence isn't it?).
So our responsibility is to determine what God has entrusted us with and be a good steward of it.
Because your success is only in comparison to where you started. It's not determined by anyone else's accomplishments or goals.
And my success is not measured against your success.
Because stewardship is true success.
And if stewardship is the true measurement of success, how are you measuring up?
What has God made you a steward of?