SEPTEMBER 29

The Secret of Success

What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? MICAH 6:8

A friend sent me an email posting from Ruth McGinnis, a Nashville recording artist and author, who had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the midst of her ordeal, God began reframing the definition of success in her life: One of the most powerful insights I've had as a result of this unexpected detour in my well-planned life is truly understanding that the value of my work—the books I've written, my instrumental recordings, the speaking and performing I've done for countless years—has nothing to do with commercial success. I always thought that to be "successful," I would have to register in the marketplace with some measurable impact, like making the New York Times best-sellers list. As a result, even though I've enjoyed a rewarding career as a creative person, I've always felt that somehow I'd never quite arrived—that my life was incomplete.

Having cancer has forever changed this. The cards, letters, gifts, phone calls, and emails I've received from people I know—and many I've never met—have revealed to me that the reach of my work and the value of my simply being here is greater than I ever could have imagined.

I am convinced this is true for each one of us. That we all tend to be hard on ourselves and measure our achievements against harsh standards.

We fail to appreciate our own contributions, and we forget to acknowledge the gifts, beauty and efforts of others.

I will never think of success, fulfillment and contentment the way I used to. Cancer has swept the veil away from my eyes—has given me a new way of looking at life and rethinking everything. It is an unexpected gift.

Your life will be measured, not by the amount of money or power or fame you gain, but by the way you allow God to touch others through you.

DISCUSS

How would you define "success" in your life? In your family? Talk about Ruth McGinnis's perspective.

PRAY

Pray that you will be content just being who God has called you to be. 

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