RelateHER: I Changed My Definition Of Success


Written By: Johanna Taylor- Awaken Her

We throw around the word "successful" a whole lot. A successful career, a successful person. A successful company.

I just finished my undergrad in journalism four months ago, and one of the most common questions I get asked (naturally) right now is "what's next?" Am I on the job hunt, pursuing a career in journalism, and doing all the things I should be doing to get on the road to "success"?

I job hunted for about three months shortly after my wedding. Going to interview after interview, I slowly started to realize, that even if I got the job I was interviewing for - I wasn't sure I even wanted it. I was so conflicted inside myself. 

I started working at a new café (the coziest one in the world, in my opinion) as a barista, closed the door on corporate life, and I have not looked back. Nor have I missed the interviews or the thought of a cubicle desk. However, this season of struggle and stress challenged me to the core. I placed so much pressure on myself to get a job that fit the world's definition of success. Real talk, I've always wanted to be thought of as successful. In this time, I felt God urging me constantly to ask myself, "What is my definition of success? Is it the world's definition, or a heavenly definition?"

It's not bad to desire success and growth. But having a worldly view of what success means is not necessarily God's view of success. See, one of the most beautiful things about our faith in Jesus, is that our identity is not wrapped up in our job, our relationships, how big of a house we have, how much money we earn or how popular we are. NOPE. Our identity is in Him alone. And that ALSO means our definition of success changes. It must change for us to fully grasp our purpose on earth. We need to adapt heaven's definition of success.

1 John 2: 15-17 says, "Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity."

Heaven's success is salvation. It's healing. It's miracles. It's faith. It's emotional, physical and spiritual wholeness. It's knowing Jesus.

The Lord's prayer says in Matthew 6:10, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

WOW. What if we actually got THAT in our spirit? As it is in heaven. Heaven's definition of success is bringing a Kingdom culture and mindset into a broken world.

Now, don't get me wrong, I KNOW many people have a calling to be in the corporate world. I am not saying that everyone should quit their day job! My husband is very much a corporate businessman. But the important thing, is to remember WHO our true identity lies with, and that success EVEN in the corporate world should not look the same for people who have put God at the centre of their lives. Getting to the top of the ladder in your workplace is no more "successful" in heaven's eyes than the job you work right now TODAY.

In heaven's eyes, you have an opportunity where you are right now to be an encourager and influencer to the people around you.

One of the best parts about looking through this new lens is that you realize YOU'VE ALREADY WON. You've already got everything you need in life, and God has already blessed you above and beyond anything the world could even offer.

Beyond that, you start to identify the stuff that's actually important to you beyond any kind of material possession. People are important. Prayer is important. Relationships and building the Church is important. And most of all, a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing we will ever possess, and the highest success we could ever reach. It's legitimately what we were created for…ya know, THE REASON God created you!

What could your world look like if you started to ask:

  1. What is my definition of success right now?

  2. How is it different from heaven's definition of success?

  3. What ways can I actively start to change my mindset to make it more like God's definition of success in my life?

Take some time and answer those three simple questions for yourself. Write them down, mull over them and really take the time to think about how your perspective could be transformed.

 - Johanna