23 January 2017

Good Success vs Bad Success

Is there such a thing of ‘bad success’?

It sounds like an oxymoron, like cleaning dirt. Why would anyone come up with such a concept? Does it really matter and what does it mean to have bad success? These are the thoughts that have plagued my mind recently at the start of twenty-seventeen.

Everyone wants to be successful but success at the expense of integrity and rooted in selfishness will never last long. Too many shortcuts and ignoring the advice of trusted counsellors and bad success will eventually do more harm than good.

Luke 9:25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet forfeit their own soul?

Good success can be completing high school, earning a degree, or marrying your best friend. Then there is learning a trade, getting out of your comfort zone, travelling the world, helping a stranger and committing to eating heathy.  Any form of positive learning, growing, responsibility and investment can be termed as good success.

Bad success can be the promotion at the expense of close friends, finances over family, or that hobby at the cost of time a relationship. Too much power, sex and money have led many a man to ruin.

Bad success is what leads to addictions, broken relationships and self destruction. Investing too much time in talent over character will eventually result in the talent leading you to a place your character will never be able to support you.

A father can be a great provider for his family as a workaholic, but starve them of valuable time and attention. Perhaps the greatest struggle of our generation currently is the obsession of social media, which is leading to proven cases of isolation and mental health at an alarming rate.

As a Christian, good success is living a life that honours Christ, which seeks first the Kingdom of God and looks to the needs of others. Disciplining our time in prayer, scripture, worship and church community is not just a good idea or recommendation; Jesus warned against us gaining the things of this world at the expense of our soul, the greatest loss we could ever lose!

Any pursuit at the expense of your character, relationships, health or faith can be deemed not only bad success but dangerous success. Some things in life are priceless and should be guarded at all costs, irrespective of the culture around us.

Our time, attention and priorities determine what we choose to value most in life. Choose today to be focused on only good success for your life. You won’t regret it.