Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Key Statement: Not what we have, but what we do with what we do have, is the real measure of success.
How does God view success? We know the standards of the world- prestige, income, and recognition. But what constitutes success in the eyes of God?
There are two plumb lines by which God measures success-obedience and faithfulness.
Though the apostle Paul ministered to thousands, he considered his success only in terms of obedience to the will of God for his life. “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Jesus’ ministry led Him to a Roman cross before a jeering crowd. How could that possibly be deemed a success in the eyes of His contemporaries? But it was pleasing to God because He had done the will of the Father. “Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying” (John 8:55).
We are obedient to the will of God as we heartily respond to the truth of His Word and the guidance of His spirit. A wealthy entrepreneur is gradually convinced that God is calling him to a missionary role. He bows to God’s will and spends the last twenty years of his life in relative obscurity and poverty. Has he succeeded? He certainly has, and will be rewarded for all eternity for his obedience to God’s plan.
Be Faithful in All You Do
Faithfulness is the second guideline for succeeding in the eyes of God. The parable of the talents illustrates this quite precisely. After having imparted a sum of money to each servant, the master in the parable returned tears later and “settled accounts with them” (Matthew 25:19).
The servant who had received five talents and the one who had received two talents both presented the fruit of their labor to their master who responded to both with this crowning statement:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23).
“Well done, good and faithful servant” is God’s sublime recognition of genuine success. What mattered wasn’t how rich they ere, how many companies and subsidiaries they had formed, or how many employees they had, but their faithfulness in fulfilling their assigned task.
Here is the great equalizer: Those born into great wealth or into abject poverty can have the same quality of success. Not what we have, but what we do with what we do have, is the measure.
Glorify God in Your Work
Notice that God’s view of success isn’t focused only on what we do with His gifts but why we do it. The servants all came to bring the fruits of their labor to the master. Their motivation was to benefit him with their profits. Our earthly toil takes on divine dimensions when we seek to honor and serve God with our work.
That is enduring, all-encompassing, eternal success.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.