Success has become an elusive idea in America today.
In colonial times, success on the farm was usually based on a person's ability to provide for the family and sometimes to sell crops or animals at the local market-place. The foundation of the farm-based society was the nearby extended family and the family church, which hosted many of the community events. Time was measured in seasons and years with only minimal progress in technology for each generation.
With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it quickly became apparent that higher wages could be received for less physical work in a shorter period of time. This fact led many people to relocate to urban areas and created the groundwork for the rise of the corporation. Success came to be defined by a person's job title and income, with an emphasis on "climbing the corporate ladder" as quickly as possible.The purchase of new and expensive items, especially in the 20th century, created the outward appearance of success. Now, progress is measured in terms of months, not generations.
The triumph of the Wright Brothers resulted in the invention of the Concorde jets, the Space Shuttles and the Stealth warplanes. Alexander Graham Bell's masterpiece advanced to the creation of cell phones and wireless technologies. Medical discoveries have led to the control of tuberculossis and polio as well as the widespread use of antibiotics. And the developers of the first computers probably never foresaw the rise of laptops and the Internet.
But despite all of these technological advances which benefit our modern world, success for the individual has become increasingly elusive. The quest for material posessions has only created massive consumer debt in exchange for immediate gratification. What is worse, attending church has become just another weekly chore for many people and there is an almost complete lack of connection with the surounding community.
The traditional family farm, where everyone was nurtured and supported in a common effort, has been replaced by two-income households, child-care centers and "retirement homes". It is not uncommon for an adult worker to spend 40, 50 or 60 hours (not counting commute time) at the job, just to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.
Why has success become so elusive? Part of the challenge of talking about success is to define it.
Some folks would say that a close daily fellowship with God is the highest form of success. Others believe that a strong family relationship determines one's success. Another group thinks that promotions in our careers and increased wages are the best measures of success. Others declare that financial security and debt-free living is the ultimate definition of success.
So, who is right and who is wrong? The answer is: all of the above. Every group is partly right and partly wrong. All of these aspects of our lives (spiritual, emoitonal, vocational, financial) are crucial to a true feeling of success in every person.
So, how do we balance these different aspects into our daily lives and truly succeed in every area of our lives?
Various experts from various backgrounds promote various theories for achieving personal success. These writers and speakers promise life-changing improvements by following their own guidelines for achieving one aspect of success. Unfortunately, very few of these ideas really change the lives of the audience, and it's not the fault of the audience!
These experts are responsible for frustrating and discouraging many of the audience members by presenting the temporary, "theory of the day" advice regarding success.
Are there any permanent and proven priniciples for success? Is there an instruction manual which assures success in all areas of our lives? Can these principles be extracted from this manual into a brief and infomrative sumary of the foundations for true and lasting success.
The answer to these questions is: YES !
The Bible contains eternal principles of success, which have been proven over the centuries. The Bible is the sourcebook which gurantees success in all aspects of our lives. The wisdom and compassion of our Almighty Creator, as given in His Word and lived by Jesus Christ, will lead us to a new understanding of the full nature of success.
Perhaps you have already reached a milestone of success. Maybe you are fully content with your spiritual life and your family life and your career and your financial security. If so, congratulations; you may think that you are finished with this information. However, God intended even more blessings for you to enjoy and to share.
If you want to improve any of these areas of your life, then I invite you to continue reading.
But, let me tell you now, I am not a church leader. I don't pretend to have a complete mastery of the Bible. I have not researched the original languages of the Bible and I don't presume to improve the Bible with some new theory. I am just another redeemed sinner, trying to help my brothers and sisters in Christ to draw near to God and to achieve a greater sense of personal success.
I have been a Christian for over 20 years, and I have a great love for every book of the bible. I am a husband and a father, an attorney who runs my own office. I have served as a Little League coach and a Scout leader. God has greatly blessed my family and me. But I know that He wants me to "excel still more", and so I'm writing this text for all of us to benefit.
By applying God's eternal principles directly from the Bible, it is my hope that we all will advance God's kingdom and reach new levels of success in all areas of our lives.
AFTER 15 MONTHS OF READING, REFLECTION AND PRAYER, I AM READY TO CONTINUE THIS BLOG, STARTING OCTOBER 1, 2012.
DUE TO FORMAT NEEDS ON THIS SITE, I WILL POST CHAPTER 1, PART 1, NEXT WEEK. THEN, CHAPTER 1, PART 2 WILL FOLLOW ON THE NEXT WEEK AND SO ON.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MAKE COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS AS WE BEGIN TO REVIEW THE SEVEN SUCCESS PRINCIPLES FOUND IN THE BIBLE. I LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING FEEDBACK TO MY IDEAS ABOUT "THE SEVEN SACRED SECRETS OF SUCCESS".
For me, the Bible is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. The Bible is the instruction manual for a righteous and successful life. The Bible is our Vitamin B, providing energy and focus to our lives.
As we know, all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness, so that a Christian is equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17. The Bible instructs and guides us (teaching), confronts and rebukes our misconduct (reproof), enables us to fix our misconduct (correction), and become stronger in following God's truth (training in righteousness) so that we can better serve Him (equipped for every good work). It is our duty to recognize our sinful acts and align ourselves to approach His eternal standards.
The Bible is the most powerful tool for achieving success in our relationships with God, our families and other people. It contains unchanging principles for attaining success in our homes, our churches, our workplace and our communities.
Now, I'm not a preacher and I have no formal religious training. I am not a prophet, just another redeemed disciple. But I have known God's love throughout my love, even before I loved Him. He believed in me long before I believed in Him, almost 25 years ago.
All that I am is the direct result of the lovingkindness and loyalty of our eternal Creator. I have been happily married for over 20 years, and we have three amazing kids. I have woprked as an attorney since 1995 and have run my own law office since 2001. We are all active in our Church, and I have served as a Little League coach, Boy Scout leader and Band Parent.
Over the next few months, we will look at a key verse in the Old Testament and learn how the wisdo