Theme of the Week: Success As A Christian Man
Bible Verse: “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-26
David Brooks describes the difference between résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. “The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.” 1
I used to be enamored with résumé virtues. I pursued education, developed my skills, and looked for ways to improve. All of this is good, but résumé virtues without character are a bit like painting a vase with gold spray paint. They look good, but it’s not actually valuable. In the end, qualities like the ones Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 count for a lot more than your degrees, professional accomplishments, and awards.
But there’s something even more important than eulogy virtues. The ultimate evaluation of our lives will not take place at our funerals, but when we stand before the Lord. His evaluation of our lives is the ultimate measure of our success. On that day we want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23). Good, faithful, and servant deserve their own time and attention. Those are the words that lead to “well done.”
Paul gives us a picture of what it means to develop the kind of life that pleases God. God also promises to transform us as we obey Him and rely on the Holy Spirit.
I’m praying that the portrait of success Paul offers increasingly becomes a portrait of our lives.
Prayer: God, it’s easy to become enthralled with a fame and wealth idea of success. But I know that success in your sight doesn’t always mean that. Help me to understand success as you understand it. Help me to develop the traits that you value and to eliminate those you do not.
Reflection: What pursuits drive you? At the end of the day, why do you do the things you do?
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