Little lies are funny things.
I believed a little lie for a long time. For me, fulfillment was successful Church Ministry. It was the stage, the song, the message, the presence, the rush. It took a long time for God to work through my success syndrome. I believed that success in this field would bring me fulfillment – it was the little lie I swallowed.
We talk about success a lot from the front in the mainstream church. Young Christians constantly hear about the big dreams, the big stage, the big ministry (“He took his ministry from 50 young people to 500”, etc) – we’re shooting from the hip with Jeremiah 29:11, but we need to critically examine what we’re promoting. I agree we need to equip people for the best – God’s in the business of doing what we can’t, of fulfilling our heart’s desires. But every journey comes with a long road of ups and downs, of things to work through, and it grows character as we navigate life’s challenges. We need to spread a different message – dream big, but whatever happens, stay close to Jesus.
In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus says “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Success seems innocent enough. It calls to us, beckons us to press on, calls us higher. But success without a grounding in solid character is no solid success at all. It won’t satisfy you – it’s a lie. So I’d encourage everyone leading this, whatever you do – let’s focus on character before talent, lest our talent can takes us to places that our character can’t keep us. Because that’s no success at all.
I’ll leave the last word on this matter to the Supertones: “It was a pretty lie, but it didn’t satisfy.”