How do we measure success? What constitutes success? If we don't succeed, do we automatically fail?
I do not have the answers, but I have been realizing more and more that God does not measure success in the same ways that we do. God sees a much greater picture than we do. God does not measure success by numbers and percentages. At least, I don't think He does. I think He is concerned with much greater things.
I just finished a book that discussed the absolute power that compassion has on people. Showing compassion and genuine care and sincere love are incredibly powerful in seeing hearts and lives changed. God cares little about how well we follow the rules if we fail to look past our own noses. And, yes, compassion can be transforming, but it does not depend on us. It is not our failure if our compassion does not change people. This is a really hard pill for me to swallow. I like to know that I am being helpful, that I am doing the right thing, that I am successful.
In Gregory Boyle's book Tattoos on the Heart he says, "Success and failure, ultimately, have little to do with living the gospel. Jesus just stood with the outcasts until they were welcomed or until He was crucified--whichever came first."
Is that success? Just waiting it out? Crucifixion?
I am beginning to think that maybe it is. Maybe success is more about the courage to stand. Maybe Atticus Finch had it right. Maybe it really is about death. Jesus did tell us we would have to take up our cross daily to follow Him. And, I cannot argue that Jesus' death resulted in the greatest success ever...