What is success? Defining success can, at times, feel like describing color to a blind friend. It seems easy to describe, a thought you’ve pondered many times; but when you get down to actually defining it, it is more difficult. Maybe, like many rules of English, it seems that the bounds of success change often and are different for you than for others. I before E except after C, or when sounding like “neigh” as in neighbor or honestly whenever you want, can seem similar to defining success.
There are definitely two areas, however, that most everyone strives for success in: their health and their wealth. If you’re like me, you are often very concerned with success in these areas in theory, but it can be easy to a take a more lax approach.
For example, I want to be healthy, skinny, and athletic, but I don’t want to get caught up in one of those “Eat better and workout more” pyramid schemes. I at times have been on a diet, and when I am full it is easy to say that I will make good choices about my food. But then at 2 a.m., I am chowing down on Hot Pockets wondering why I am the way I am.
I have a personal budget and goals for success in money, but it takes serious discipline to be successful! I have not been as serious about saving for retirement as I should be. It is very easy to make bad decisions in the here and now. It is difficult to keep the distant long-term goals in mind when you are faced with a desirable product that is on sale, and it’s staring you in the face.
When John wrote the book of 3rd John he kicked it off with this greeting in the first two verses:
1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.3rd John 1-2
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Gaius was the man. John speaks very highly of this obviously Godly man. Gaius walked the walk of the Christian faith. We don’t know too many specifics, but verse three tells us that he “walkest in truth” and verse four tells us that he brought John great joy.
Maybe you’ve seen those memes where there is a stick figure with a joking admonition to “be like them.” John could have made one that said, “This is Gaius. He has his priorities straight and is succeeding at his Christian walk. Be like Gaius.”
Gaius obviously took his Christian life very seriously, and was succeeding. So much so that when John wanted to wish him the best, he wished that his health and wealth would succeed like his Christian walk. What a testimony!
I know my natural tendency is to get those two things flipped, and I believe it to be a common problem among our Christian brothers and sisters. Would some one wish that your money and health would be as successful as your Christian walk? Or would they pray that you would give the same focus to your walk with God that you give to your fitness and money goals?
Budgeting, eating right, working out, saving up, investing, and learning how to better take care of your body and bank account are good things! They should be important goals in your life! You should strive to be good stewards of your body and money! Absolutely! But treat your walk with God with even greater intensity!
It is a good habit to regularly check our finances, and it is wise to fuel your body with nutrition and exercise. You have to have discipline and goals to succeed in health and wealth. The Christian walk is no different. Are you succeeding as a Godly wife? Husband? Mother? Father? Friend? Employee? Do you regularly feed yourself with time in the Word and prayer? Do you exercise your faith? Do you teach those around you about faith and the grace of God?
I hope today you would make the decision to strive, like Gaius, to win at your Christian life so much that well-meaning people would wish your health and wealth would succeed to the same degree!