3 Essentials for Success
She was one of those people who look at a half full glass and declare it is empty. With practice she learned to do the same with a full glass – all she could see was emptiness. She had learned to like complaining and she made a habit of always seeing the worst in any situation.
In What the Pig Taught Me we saw the amazing nature of the father in welcoming back his wandering son. He welcomed him despite his willful and wasteful behavior. When the son changed his mind and came home the father welcomed him and gave him the chance to start over. Awesome!
But the father had two sons and his other son had more than his fair share of problems too. He was the good boy who stayed home and did what was expected of him. He was beyond criticism. He may have wanted to do some of the stuff his more adventurous brother had done but he never did. He stayed responsibly beside his father and did whatever he was told. Obviously he judged his wayward brother sharply and despised him for his actions. He prided himself on being better and on doing what was right.
Here’s five things he had going for him:
1. His relationship with his father was intact and they lived together in harmony.
2. He had full control of the resources he needed – his needs were fully met.
3. He enjoyed a defined role, purpose and position – he could be secure in his self-esteem and fulfilled as a person living a respectable life others would envy.
4. He had a “Sure Thing” future – his inheritance was defined and he was already working on it. He would inherit everything; it was all his.
5 He had unlimited opportunity to make an impact in life. There was little to hold him back from a marvelous calling as a respected landowner and from living up to the opportunities that his status in life allowed. He had the ability to make it all happen.
All that remained was for him to convert his advantage into reality. He was staring at all the opportunity he ever needed to make something out of his life but he didn’t take it! Instead he whined and did nothing with his opportunity. He wasted it because he underestimated and ignored it. He expected everything to be given to him; he didn’t take responsibility for his own ministry and life. He became the hypocritical fault finder who was locked on comparing himself with others, declaring they were wrong no matter what they did, while his own life was empty and passing him by. He might have been the real loser when he stood alongside his brother! But it didn’t need to be that way. His mindset prevented him from becoming what he was called and destined to be.
In this part of Jesus’ story we see the father who provided all the things his son could need but he wouldn’t do for his son what his son could do for himself. It was all free, not earned – although the son acted like he was earning it with his good behavior – (like his good behavior put his father into his debt!) It was his inheritance already, all he had to do was learn how to use it.
It was free and all his but he failed to treat it as his own – he never possessed what his father had given him. He merely had to take advantage of and learn how to use what had been given him but he didn’t do it. He had the opportunity for glorious success and personal fulfillment and missed it. So what are the three essential keys for success he shows us?
- Take stock of the resources we have at our disposal. They are far greater than we think. Stop and consider what we already have available to us.
- Drop the habit of comparing ourselves to others, stop keeping score, and learn to avoid the temptation to think they have it easy. We don’t know and it doesn’t matter. Others might have screwed up but that doesn’t make us better and it needn’t make us glad. Still others have succeeded beyond anything we can imagine but we don’t need to waste our lives being angry or frustrated about that. What happens if we focus on encouraging and promoting others ahead of ourselves? It’s a choice which can become a habit and a ministry on its own.
- Daring to use what we already have. Investment and consumption are different actions but it’s a principle in life that everything worth doing involves some degree of risk. That’s a reason for planning and care but we can’t allow it to immobilize us. Doing nothing is a choice too – we choose to waste what we have and let the opportunities slip away from us.
What do we do with what we have been given? Don’t feel like it has been given to you? Neither did this son but he had to wake up and shake up his perceptions – he’d been telling himself lies all those years about what he had and what he could do with it. He tricked himself out of his inheritance – now he had the opportunity to correct his mistake and start fresh. What do you think he did with that opportunity this time?
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Posted on January 11, 2012, in Self-awareness, vision and tagged Christianity, delayed gratification, Holy Spirit, inheritance, Learning, personal confidence, personal potential, seizing opportunity, self-esteem, self-talk. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.