The world is obsessed with success

Published 8:15 am Friday, July 15, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve been successful in college football and basketball, but finally received a political science degree. My parents were disappointed I didn’t become a celebrated athlete. They told me I can be anything I want to be. Is it important for everyone to make a name for themselves? My church gave me a Bible verse to encourage me: Philippians 4:13. Is this the best one to use? — I.N.

Dear I.N.: Politicians, sports figures, inventors, and others from all walks of life come and go. While their names may continue in history, their impact is not always lasting. Only one name is eternal and worthy of our praise and attention: the Name of the Lord God, Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Daniel who served the king of the dominant power in the world declared, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His” (Daniel 2:20). He did not declare the name King Nebuchadnezzar as the almighty one — only God. Isaiah, the prophet, also exalted Him as “the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15).
The world is obsessed with success. Our idea of success and God’s are not the same. True success in God’s eyes is for individuals to be faithful to His calling. Many people have written books, become great managers and promoters, been acclaimed as talented artists and musicians, and achieved fame and fortune. These abilities are endowed by God and He wants us to use them for His glory, not ours.
Success in life isn’t found in names and personalities, but in God alone who is sovereign. The Bible says, “Keep this Book [the Scriptures]… always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be… successful” (Joshua 1:8, NIV).
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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