This one-word drives business, drives our country, drives our world, and a lot of the time it drives our lives. Most of us spend all of our time scraping, grabbing, and fighting for that next rung on the ladder, that bump in pay, or that achievement that will set us apart from everyone else. You know, that personal tropical island where a sweet, sharply dressed, and a well-mannered man named Joffrey brings you all the cold-brewed coffee you can drink? (And all the readers of Morning Grace just said Amen!)
But the funny thing about success is that it is like a mirage in the desert. It looks so close to everyone when they start, but it is very rarely actually obtainable and is typically not what they hoped for if they achieve it. So many of us find ourselves swallowed up in this rat race to reach the next level or the appearance of it, but have we ever asked ourselves what true success looks like?
Contrary to what society tells you it takes to be a #GirlBoss, the Bible shows us that all true success starts with the right heart.
Only once we have the right heart can we begin to clearly see what that true success even looks like. So today I want to bring your attention to one of the humblest & shortest stories in the New Testament. Though this short story is only 4 verses long, it is found in both Mark 12:41-44 & Luke 21:1-4 and packs a huge shot of freeing truth to our lives. (Umm… Make that a double!)
Due to the shortness of the story, let me set the stage for you:
Jesus (the actual living and breathing son of God) has been teaching in the temple about the coming Messiah (spoiler alert, himself), and is taking time to call out the deplorable actions of the religious leaders (who happen to be the leaders of the very temple he is in… #Gasp #Savage #Baller #HeCanDoItBecauseHe’sGod). He calls out the temple leaders for loving themselves, focusing only on the image of success, for cheating the widows and pretending to be holy by praying ridiculously long prayers. (Remind anyone else of certain family members during Holidays?) This is the point where our story picks up as Jesus takes a seat…
“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” – Mark 12:41-44 NLT
At this moment Jesus (again the most important being ever to live), takes time to bring attention to the actions of a woman whom everyone else would have looked down upon as the lowest of the low. In the midst of all these “successful” people showing off their riches and status, Jesus brings attention to the only person with the true heart of success.
This amazing woman comes with a heart that understands that success isn’t about what “I” have, about what “I” did, or about what “I” accomplished. This hero of the New Testament knew that a successful life is about walking in the understanding that everything starts with God. (#Woke) You see dear sisters, this woman was a living breathing example of Matthew 17:26 NLT
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
This world tells you that you will only be as successful as your title, your possessions, your money, and a million other objects that will fade away, but your loving Father wants you to know that your success is not in yourself but in him! These things are not bad in and of themselves, but they become empty, bad, and unsatisfying when we begin to place our meaning and success in them instead of God.
Let me leave you with this:
Start today with seeking God in all you do and watch as your heart is filled with a fullness that nothing in this world can bring. When we allow God to lead our lives, our desires, our work, and our success, we see God accomplish things in our lives that are so big we could never have achieved them on our own. (#ToBlessedToBeStressed).
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending your Son to earth to restore our relationship with you. We ask that you work on our hearts to seek you in everything we do and not the empty trophies of this world. Help us to live like the widow who gave everything and realize it’s not about the money we can get, but rather living a life focused on you. Help us to see your plan in our lives and to follow you. In the name of Jesus, we pray,