What is success? How do you prepare for it?
Some think success is great wealth, a result of the accomplishment of one’s goals and endeavors. They work hard to acquire, and often get to the end of their lives not satisfied with what they have attained.
In my world, success if often found in how large a church has grown, what the property looks like, and whether the pastor has to be bi-vocational or not…
Where do we find patterns of success to lead us? Perhaps we can find something from the wisdom of Solomon…
Not necessarily the smartest man, but one noted for wisdom. His life did not live up to his heritage, but when his time came to be the king he asked of God to give him wisdom and knowledge.
Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” (2 Chronicles 1:10 ESV)
God granted him his wish, but now he had to prove his wisdom and knowledge before the people. Early in his rule two women contested a living child before the king. One child had died, and the mother of the dead child swapped the dead for the live one in the dark of the night. It’s a great example of how to judge wisely! Go read the story for yourself in First Kings, chapter 3. Here is result of his wisdom, knowledge and justice.
And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice. (1 Kings 3:28 ESV)
Solomon is known for his wise leadership, and the great success that the nation had during his reign. His wealth was known by all, and the excess of his life was spoken of everywhere. His wisdom has become famous in the writings of holy scripture and is replete with nuggets of small and large thoughts. Success is often judged by how often we use their material.
In my world there are some men that I enjoy reading and looking for similar nuggets of wisdom I enjoy reading and searching for those similar hidden nuggets, but I continually return to the book of Proverbs.
This is one of my favorite chapters from the pen of Solomon. I hope you enjoy.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits (tithes) of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.
My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence. The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
(Proverbs 3:1-35 ESV)
From such organized wisdom writing, you will find great success.