10 September 2010

Looking for a Yardstick

I'm definitely one of those people who naturally measure success by how much I've done and how well I’ve met up to often unrealistic standards of what I believe I should (more accurately “wish” I could) have accomplished; another strong barometer of success for me is the praise or words of affirmation of those around me… Does someone, anyone, notice how much I’ve accomplished? How well or thoroughly it has been completed? And, do they appreciate it... at least enough to tell me?

I was recently challenged to consider my definition of a successful day, and since both of the above evaluative measures are not biblical, I’m now in the process of trying to retrain my thinking - hoping the “feeling” will trail along behind - by asking myself the following questions when it comes to determining my success:

1) When I come to the end of the day, can I say, “Lord, to the best of my ability, I’ve done everything as unto You, and in those areas where I failed, I’ve already repented and asked forgiveness from You and others?”

2) Has the focus of my time been psent on serving and loving others, investing in their lives… or has it been spent serving and loving myself (granted that a certain amount of time does need to be spent on self… but that time seems to come so much more naturally; the other is rarely so automatic)?

3) Have I been gentle, kind, patient, slow to anger, thankful, joyful, peaceful, content and positive with my words and actions… recognizing that my thoughts aren’t always on target, but that I do have the choice of what to do with wrong thinking before it becomes wrong words or actions?

And even just today, as I've continued to reflect, pray and listen, God has pointed out one more yardstick that I can use:

4) Have I gently and contentedly accepted God's sovereignty over that day, for all those times when my plans had to bend or change completely because God's agenda is obviously quite different from the one I concocted for the day?

This all sounds so nice on paper… I wish it were that easy to accomplish and by God's grace and mercy, I will find that I eventually have more successful days than the alternative... but I think the last part is recognizing that on those days where I can answer yes or mostly yes to those four questions, it was only by the grace of God and His Spirit working and changing me.

So... what's your yardstick? How do you measure success in your life?

yardstick photo: ohdeedoh.com tape measure photo: blog.taigacompany.com

1 comment:

  1. Ouch, those words hit close to home! What a great reminder to use GOD's yardstick. Thank you!


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