By Jerry Ousley
In talking about how to be successful in life, there are a few things that need to be discussed. Remember the scripture from Joshua 1:8 which again says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” As previously stated we realize that this is from the Old Testament but before we minimize that fact let’s also remember that the Apostle, Paul, taught that everything in the Old Testament serves as examples and types for us as Christians who have been freed from the law.
The passage in Joshua is basically saying that if our hearts are turned towards God, we respect Him, love Him and want to please Him, and we do those things that accomplish these desires, then we can see prosperity and have good success. Now we also have to define success in light of the Bible rather than men’s definitions. We have a tendency to define success by how well off we are, how influential we are and these sorts of things. But in reality we’ve got the cart before the horse. We look for the product of success rather than for the meat of success. Being successful is not defined by these things but rather in our relationship with God. We may be in poverty but if we are successful in the Lord even then we will be rich. And frankly I believe that as we become truly successful in the Lord that these other things that men seek for will happen for us as a byproduct of our success. But they are not to be taken as proof of success because there are many wealthy people in this world who are not successful in life.
Before we can be successful in life we’ve got to answer the question, “Are we satisfied with who we are?” The best way I know to illustrate this is with the story told several years ago by Mike Warnke. There was a man and his granddaughter who lived up in the mountains. They were basically very happy but one day hard times fell. Now they owned a mule they had named Hiney. He was nearly a part of the family. But as the days grew harder and harder the man realized that they were going to have to sell Hiney. He explained things to his granddaughter and so they fixed Hiney up and began their trip down the mountain. They walked along leading Hiney as they went.
On their trip down they passed a house where several people were sitting on the porch. They waved and continued on their way, but as they went they heard the people comment, “If that man really loved the little girl he’d let her ride that mule instead of making her walk.” So the man stopped and lifted his granddaughter onto the back of Hiney.
At the next house again there were people outside and as they passed by the man heard one of them say, “That poor old man; the little girl has a lot more energy than he does. She should walk and let him ride.” So once again they stopped and the man lifted his granddaughter to the ground and he climbed up on Hiney.
They passed a third house and heard someone say, “That’s a shame, making that little girl walk like that! He should let her ride with him.” So they stopped and the man lifted his granddaughter in front of him and they both continued on riding Hiney.
Finally they passed a fourth house and overheard someone say, “That poor old mule, having to carry the weight of both of those people like that! They should be ashamed!” So the old man stopped again, and both of them got off. Not wanting to be accused of being cruel to animals they lifted Hiney up onto their backs and continued on, although staggering under the weight of the mule.
At last they came to a bridge. Both the old man and his granddaughter were barely standing up under the weight of Hiney and as they crossed the bridge he stumbled on a loose rock on the bridge. This caused him to lose his grip on Hiney and tragically they dropped the mule over the side of the bridge. They were helpless as they watched Hiney fall to his death.
But there is a moral to this story. We must be satisfied with who we are and not listen to the opinions of others because if we aren’t careful we’ll lose our hiney!
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, “Soul Challenge”, “Soul Journey” “Ordeal” “The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional” and his first novel “The Shoe Tree.” Find out more by visitingwww.spiritbread.com or email us at [email protected].