What Is Your Definition of Success?

You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. (1 Thessalonians 2:1, NIV)

This raises an important question: What is success? It seems likely that some of the brothers at Thessalonica defined success as everything being comfortable and everyone being happy. If that is success, then Paul’s visit to Thessalonica was a failure.

If the standard of success is everyone feeling comfortable and happy, then you will likely feel that your life, your family, and your church are failures too. Paul’s definition of success is very different: To advance the gospel and to live under the approval of God.

With the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition… (2:2; success = advancing the gospel).

We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts… (2:4; success = living under the approval of God).

We speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel… (2:4; success = living under the approval of God).

Here is success: To advance the gospel and to live under the approval of God.

How do you measure success? What does it look like in your life? In your family? Or in your church?

definition of success

Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Jan 9th, 2017