The Measurement of Success

The world has its measurement of success, and pretty much screams it at us constantly.

Money. Wealth. Things.

Fame. Popularity. Status.

Pleasure. Any kind. All the time.

But when you don’t plan to spend most of your life in one place, it’s important not to stockpile your treasure there.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

-Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

Writers usually measure success in sales. In number of positive reviews. In number of loyal readers. Or number of new readers who rave about your book.

And, to be honest, I would appreciate all those things when I finally publish. But I never want to forget how I measured success when I first started writing: success is giving someone a blessing, however small.

Souls touched for even a little good will be treasure in heaven, yes?

But the world’s measurement of success can be distracting from what’s important.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

-Matthew 6:24

I can’t afford to get distracted by pursuing this world’s success. Yes, I’ll do the best publishing job I can. Yes, I’ll market my books. And, most certainly, I want people to enjoy and be encouraged by what I write. I want it very much. But I must remember that people’s approval is not the main thing to aim for.

I want to write for my King’s approval.

Of course, I want His approval in my whole life, not just writing. But writing has become a big part of my life.

You’ve probably heard the verse about “well done, good and faithful servant.”

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

-Matthew 25:21 NKJV (emphasis mine)

That’s what I want. To enter into the joy of my Lord.

-Miss Darcy

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2 thoughts on “The Measurement of Success

  1. Thanks for this great testimonial, Darcy. I’m conflicted, if truth be told. While I know it’s important to earn God’s approval over anything else, I can’t help but want people’s approval with my writing. People’s approval mean more sales, which would ultimately, eventually, lead to a career change, a change I would love, instead of being stuck in a job I cannot stand. I work for God, so I’ll try to represent Him no matter where I am, but I would be lying if I said that I wouldn’t want to write full time. And I don’t need much money, just enough to pay the bills. 🙂

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    1. Yes, if you’re writing to pay the bills, you have to get people’s approval to a certain extent, just as you must work to please your boss in a “normal” job (never at the expense of following the Bible, of course). And of course we are to witness for Christ no matter what job we have.

      Sometimes I think writing is hard to have as a full-time job; like the classic painters who are famous now but barely made a living in their day. Anytime art becomes a person’s livelihood, I think the situation becomes extra complicated because then the masses are your boss, so to speak, and pleasing the masses is difficult and sometimes downright wrong, depending on what they demand. Requires extra prayer, perhaps. 🙂

      Thanks so much for commenting! I pray the Lord continues to guide you.

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