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Question of the Week 11 - How should I measure my success in life?

Breakpoint Parents Guide 1

The BreakPoint answer is: The great lesson is that while we should always do our best to bring glory to God with excellence, what really matters in life is not so much what we do. What matters most is what God chooses to do through us. Your children and grandchildren need to know that what matters most in their life is their obedience to God. That is success in his eyes.

The answer does not define how a person can measure success in one’s life, just that God performs the measurement. How is a person to measure their success in life given that basis?

The main requirement for this determination is discerning God’s master plan, to discover which actions God has chosen for us to do. This is not an easy task, given the master plan might have had us lead us mediocre lives or perhaps more inspired lives. Not everyone is equipped to lead.

There is another obvious criteria that could be used by a human being. Each of us, as a social being, is a member of our communities. If our life has benefitted others, has contributed to the happiness of others, has advanced the community or culture and these contributions have been achieved without harming others then our life has been a success.

I suspect that someone might claim that such a life also follows God’s plan. However that conclusion cannot be made because there is no clear signal what is the plan for any of us. However the criteria defined above is not subject to divining this unseen plan. It is the simple result of recognizing our human nature and what is the most appropriate behavior for a person in that societal context.

The emphasis on the life after death renders our life rather meaningless. If our humanity is emphasized, our life has inherent meaning. We are part of the universe and our success in life is measured by how well we contribute to our society. We are not lonely souls that are on this earth for a short time before spending an eternity in heaven or hell.

The original link in case the article ever returns to Breakpoint:
(http://www.pfm.org/Content/ContentGroups/BreakPoint/Columns/ Worldview_for_Parents/200311/Question_of_the_Week11.htm)



created - Dec. 2004
last change - 12/31/2004
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