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What the Bible Says About Success

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Being successful is on most people's bucket list. They spend most of their lives trying to be successful. They usually want a big house, the latest model vehicle, and a big bank account. because that's their idea of success. Unfortunately, those things might make them happy only temporarily.

That's because God's idea of success is quite different from the world's idea of success. So, what is the difference?

Success: Definition

Success can be defined as the accomplishment of a desired goal, aim, or purpose. Success can also be defined as having attained wealth, prosperity, fame and fortune. In many cases, success is the opposite of failure.

Everyone does not define success in the same way. That's because one person might see success as one way while another person might see it in a different way. The majority of people see success as having wealth, popularity and social status. Those things might indicate success, according to the world's standard but not according to the way God views success.


The Way the World Sees Success

The world measures success by how much a person owns. This includes houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, and other material things.

The world measures success by how popular a person may be. It is determined by how many friends a person has, how many followers he has on social media, and how many people belong to their church.

The world measures success quite differently than the ways God measures success. The world's success is temporary while God's success is eternal and "out of this world."

For many people, success is the attainment of prosperity, popularity, or social status.

Unfortunately, by worldly standards many people become successful, but they do not experience the happiness or peace they thought would come with it.

Success is not part of the plans for some people while here on earth. Success is kept by God until we are in heaven with Him (1 Peter 1:3-5). So, if you feel that you are missing out on success in this life, your success is waiting for you in heaven if you are faithful to God and follow His commands.

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The Way God Sees Success

Success is determined by our faithfulness to God and the things of God. After the death of Moses, Joshua was commissioned to lead the Israelites into the promised land. God told him, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8).

In other words, we much study the Bible, meditate on the Bible every single day and night, and purpose to do all that is in the Word of God. Then we will be prosperous God's way and have good success.

When King David was about to die, he gave his son Solomon good advice. He told him, “Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go” (1 Kings 2:3).

This proves that success is knowing and following the teachings of the Lord. We are successful when we follow God's instructions no matter what we do or where we go.

All the students had to preach a sermonette for chapel when I was in seminary in the 1990s. Some of the wealthy students knew about my financial situation which was quite different from theirs. After I preached, some of them said that they would exchange their wealth for my lack if it would cause them to preach like that.

For years, I dismiss the comment until I belonged to a church where a millionaire told me she would give up her millions to have my anointing.

In both of the above instances, the people with worldly wealth wanted something more eternal. That proves that God's view of success is very different from money and material things.


Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 24, 2019:

Yes, ma'am.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on October 24, 2019:

Yes, Cheryl. Some people will compliment us. On the other hand, there will be naysayers who try to put us down. But we know that the anointing breaks every yoke.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for the personal testimony. Those millionaires paid you a true complement. I was in a church where lay people told me I was anointed but the pastor and elders deflected by telling me I needed to lift my countenance and smile more. When I began writing a newspaper column one elder told me I needed to look like a writer whatever that meant. The best compliment anyone can give you is to tell you they see His anointing on you.

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