In Personal Growth

I’ve been struggling with this A LOT lately. I’m only 37, yet I’m finding myself in somewhat of an early midlife reckoning.

I’ve spent a lot of time chasing grades, sports, jobs, promotions, and entrepreneurship. Now that I’ve moved into a new season of life after building a marketing agency, receiving a brain cancer diagnosis, and raising kids beyond what doctors thought possible… I’m feeling the pressure to do something worth something.

But what I deemed worthy in the past, was something that needed serious evaluation.

Maybe it does for you too.

When we make goals, we usually base them on an outcome we consider to be “successful.” We get hung up on achievement that is measurable in the here-and-now.

But what success is to the world, is much different than what success is to our creator.

Success in the world reminds me of a race dog chasing a rabbit that’s not a rabbit at all. It’s a false sense of purpose.

True success looks more like significance.

It’s not always fancy, and it can’t always be measured in our lifetime. We might never even see the fullness of our significant successes, but that doesn’t make them less-than.

God doesn’t care what you look like, how popular you are, or how much money you make.

God cares that you live a life worthy of the calling He has put on your heart. You were made with gifts and abilities on purpose and I truly believe we both woke up today because we are still in the midst of that purpose.

I know it can be tempting to seek validation of our purpose by measuring it through the lense of earthly success, but significance just doesn’t fit into that box… It’s way too big!

Earthly success is wildly fleeting and will let you down when you realize it’s never really enough.

While kingdom work, on the other hand, will yield dividends of significance in this life and for generations to come.

How to live significantly…

Significance is choosing kingdom work first. It’s kissing your spouse good morning, it’s calling your grandmother before tackling that work project, it’s putting your phone down to give full attention to your kids, it’s stopping everything to help someone in need.

It’s giving the best of you without expectation.

It’s giving radically while living faithfully.

It’s caring less about the rabbit you’re chasing, and more about the quality of your race.

I love the way this idea is illustrated in 1 Corinthians, 9:25-26 when Paul says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”

We, like Paul, are called to be intentionally different than the world.

Success in the world ends in the world. But significance using the gifts and abilities developed in us, creates a kaleidoscope of eternal prosperity.

Life Practice

  1. Identify one area in your life where you want to create a more significant impact.
  2. Identify successes you’ve been chasing that have detoured true significance in this area.
  3. Structure your days to put “kingdom work” (your significant impact) before your “to-dos” (chased successes) and experience true fullness as you step beyond success and into significance!

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