When we think of success today we think of the rich and famous. I don’t think we are going to see a TV show any time soon about the “Lives of the Honest and Generous” or “Living with Integrity”. No, those wouldn’t sell in our sex and violence loving Hollywood culture. What the world calls success is very different than what God calls success. In fact when you get right down to it I can’t think of one really successful rich and famous person whom I actually admire on a spritual level. Often times our culture exalts the worst in people. In pop music I am saddened by the way women singers think that trashier is better. The problem is that trash sells in our culture.
The Right Stuff
I am always amazed when I think about the King of Kings riding into town on a donkey. There is an irony there that topples our notions of success. The King of Kings crowned not with the crown jewels but with a crown of thorns tells me that the greatest King of all cares so much for me, that he would do anything for me. That is a real leader! This Kingdom of God logic doesn’t make sense until you dig a little deeper into the real aspects of character that matter.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10