How the world measures success

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By Dave Henning / February 18, 2020

“The world measures success by how much money you make and how many people serve you.  In God’s kingdom, it’s the exact opposite.  Success is measured by how much you give and how many people you serve.”- Mark Batterson, citing Dr. Robert Rhoden

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”- Matthew 10:39 (NIV)

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 14 of Double Blessing as he defines your net worth as the sum total of all you’ve given away, not a penny more or a penny less.  For example, in later life Moses Montefiore, knighted by Queen Victoria in 1837, became famous for his philanthropy.  On one occasion the Queen asked Moses to appraise the extent of his wealth.  A few days later, Montefiore surprised Queen Victoria with his answer.  Smiling, Sir Moses explained:

“Your majesty, my only true wealth is money that I have given to charity.  Anything else I possess is merely temporary and may someday be lost or confiscated.”

Hence, Pastor Batterson astutely observes, what you own and what you’re worth constitute two very different things.  Furthermore, in eternity balance sheets look quite different.  As blessings carry over, the math morphs.  And, Mark adds, everything else = the sunk cost.

So, the author asks, why not do your giving while you’re living?  After all, Pastor Batterson quips, try to find a U-Haul attached to a hearse or an armored truck doing a graveside drop-off.  Remember, Mark notes, that in God’s kingdom it’s finders weepers, losers keepers!

But, Pastor Batterson exhorts, even when money is tight, do what you can:

“If you’re in a season where it’s difficult to make financial ends meet, double down on giving your time and talent.  And when you get back on your financial feet, add money to the mix.  But whatever you do, don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.”

Today’s question: How do you avoid judging yourself by how the world measures success?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A true hero selflessly sacrifices”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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