Weekly Thought-September 27, 2022
Fred met many business people at Cindi’s Deli in Dallas at 6:00am for breakfast. When our project began men were asked, “What do you want to hear from Fred?” Every single one began answering with “When I had breakfast with Fred, he said… ” Thus, the project founded in 2004 was named BWF Project, and the leadership event for Christian higher education became the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute. For thirteen years we introduced students to Fred’s ideas on right thinking.
What is Success?
Let’s define success. Many people misunderstand it.
For Christians, success can never be measured by money. When people say to me, “That man’s worth ten million dollars” that tells me he is wealthy, but it doesn’t prove he’s successful. In some cases it could illustrate the opposite. For instance, if Mother Teresa,(whom I consider a tremendous success) confessed she had personal assets of over one million dollars I would think she was a hypocrite. Money would prove her a fraud, not a success.
Success can never be measured by numbers, regardless of what the numbers are. I know churches which measure budget numbers, membership, and size of the facility. One unfortunate measure is the number of young men and women who enroll in seminaries after being encouraged by home churches. I read 40% of many seminaries are populated with students encouraged to get a theological degree as they search for the will of God.
The measurement of success is simply the ratio of talents used to talents received. This definition encompasses the process of growth through the focused, purposeful development. Are you maturing? Are you clear on your strengths and gifts? What percentage of your talents are you using with intentionality? If you can answer these questions in the positive, be glad — you are successful.
Some of us tend to think “I could have been a success, but I never had the opportunity. I wasn’t born into the right family, or I didn’t have the money for more education.” But when we measure success by the ratio definition it eliminates those frustrations. I have known people with limited resources who maximized their equation, had a great sense of responsibility, a love for God, and other people. Out of all that flowed a full use of talents.
At GENESCO I promoted a young man from machine operator to lower management he wanted the challenge. Shortly afterward, he was killed in an automobile accident near Lewisburg, TN. Maxey Jarman, the CEO, wanted to go to the funeral. We drove seventy-five miles each way. On the way back Maxey said, “I believe Bill was one of the most successful men we have had in the company.” I said, “He was an hourly employee and was just promoted to a small managerial job. Why would you say that?”
“Because he used what he had.”
This week carefully consider: 1) How do I measure success? 2) What is motivating me to grow? 3) Who encourages me to maximize my potential?
Words of Wisdom: “The measurement of success is simply the ratio of talents used to talents received.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The LORD grants success to the one whose behavior he finds commendable.” (Psalm 37:23 NET Bible)